BGS responds to Age UK Report 'More harm than good; Why more isn’t always better with older people’s medicines'

22 August 2019

Age UK launches a new report today that says too many older people in our society are on too many prescribed medicines, putting them at risk of side effects that in a worrying number of cases can lead to falls and a range of other serious harms.

The report, ‘More Harm than Good’, provides evidence showing that prescribing more drugs isn’t always the best option, particularly when it comes to older people.

It also demonstrates that at the moment medicines are sometimes being prescribed:

  • in excessive numbers
  • in unsafe combinations
  • without the consent or involvement of the older people concerned
  • and without the support and help older people need to take them.

In response to the report Professor Tahir Masud, President of the British Geriatrics Society, commented:

This report accurately highlights the harm that may be caused to older people’s lives by improperly-managed medications, and the waste of NHS resources. This will come as no surprise to our members who are frontline healthcare professionals working closely with older people and dealing with the consequences of inappropriate prescribing on a regular basis. It is essential that older people are partners in their care and understand what medications they are taking, what they are for and who to speak to if they have any concerns. We welcome the report’s emphasis on the importance of good communication between the prescriber and the patient. In order to achieve this, healthcare professionals must be provided with the relevant training and support they need to facilitate open and productive dialogue.”