Another study about over-prescribing

A Canadian study published online July 28 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society finds that an astonishingly high number of people with cognitive impairment and who are residing in nursing homes receive what the researchers call potentially inappropriate medication (PIM).

In this study of over 41000 nursing home residents, the researchers found that 44 % of nursing home residents were on a PIM; some were on one of the these drugs prior to admission, but many were put on a PIM after they went into a nursing home.

Obviously, one can argue with how these authors determined what was and what wasn’t inappropriate medication, but even if the numbers may be a wee bit smaller than this study claims, as anyone who has ever had a relative or friend in a nursing home can attest, there is a lot of PIM prescribing in nursing home patients.

Surely, in a cohort of such vulnerable people, the main mantra of any physician caring for one of these people should be First Do No Harm, not First, Control the Patient.