Is Canada spending millions on drugs that hurt seniors?

It is well known that not taking your prescribed medications correctly can be dangerous for your health. Non-adherence costs the Canadian health system billions of dollars every year and is a major reason that people, particularly seniors, end up in hospital1.

But what if the medications that you are taking correctly are actually harming you? A recently published study by the University of British Columbia says that Canada is spending hundreds of millions of dollars on drugs prescribed to seniors that are actually harmful for them.

The study estimates that Canada spent $419 million prescribing seniors’ drugs that were not appropriate for people of that age. When you consider the potential impacts from these prescriptions, Canada could be spending as much as $2 billion on drugs that never should have been prescribed in the first place.

This is an important reminder to talk to your doctor about your medications, particularly if, like so many seniors, you take several prescriptions at the same time. Do your due diligence and check that your medications are appropriate for someone of your age. You can use the so-called ‘Beers Criteria’: as a starting point.

See the original story at CTV News:


1. British Columbia Pharmacy Association Clinical Service Proposal: Medical Adherence Services, 2013,