One-third older adults have multiple doctors

One third of older adults take medications prescribed by more than one doctor, and 77% of this group do not discuss with one doctor the medications prescribed by another

A study published by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists found that 34% of  seniors are taking drugs prescribed by two or more doctors.  A study published by Medco Health Solutions, found that the more doctors a patient sees, the more likely that there could be dangerous drug errors.  They found a 60% greater risk for seniors seeing 5 doctors compared to seniors seeing 2 doctors.  

Additionally, the sheer number of prescriptions filled increased with the number of physicians seen.  Patients seeing 2 doctors filled an average of 27 prescriptions per year and were at risk for 10 potential errors. Patients who had 5 doctors, filled 42 prescriptions per year, with a potential for 16 errors.

The study also found that patients over the age of 65 experienced 7 times the number of errors of younger patients.   Results also indicated that 24% of adults over the age of 65 were seeing five  or more doctors and 5% had eight or more doctors.

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