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Inappropriate medications prescriptions from healthcare professionals are associated with increased risk of adverse drug events in older people in Ireland. Failure to include some recommended medications in prescriptions has also been linked with a higher risk of visiting an accident and emergency department. This is according to research from the RCSI’s Department of General Practice and the HRB Centre for Primary Care Research, examining the effect of potentially inappropriate prescribing (PIP) on outcomes for older people.

The studies indicated that the inappropriate prescription of medications, such as proton pump inhibitors and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, was associated with a 29 per cent higher occurrence rate of adverse drug events. Dr Frank Moriarty, postdoctoral researcher at the HRB Centre for Primary Care Research, stated: “At a time of unprecedented strain on our A&E departments these findings are a reminder that a range of factors can contribute to a person’s risk of attending hospital. There is no single solution to this issue; however, facilitating effective management of older people’s conditions, specifically improving their medicines, in primary care may make a positive contribution”.