Potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs) can contribute to morbidity through exacerbations or progression of existing conditions among older people. In order to characterize the prevalence of PIMs according to the Beers Criteria in older Australians, three hundred and eleven participants were recruited from three residential aged care facilities (RACFs) and two hundred and twenty participants from three community pharmacies in South Australia for a retrospective audit of medication administration charts and community pharmacy dispensing histories. Although a similar number of participants were prescribed at least one PIM (P = 0.09), the average number of PIMs was significantly greater in the RACF cohort (1.96 vs 1.26, P < 0.05). Additionally, PIMs prescribed as pro re nata (PRN) in the RACF cohort had a significantly low administration rate compared to prescription rate (19.7% vs 40.7%). The mean number of PIMs within each cohort was statistically significant (RACF = 1.93 vs CDOA = 1.26, P < 0.05). RACF residents were at a slightly greater risk of being prescribed more than one PIM compared to those within the community. Routine medication reviews by pharmacists embedded in RACFs and within the community could be utilised to detect PIMs before such harm occurs.
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