Medication management refers to the rational selection and use of drugs for a given patient who has complex or simple medical needs and conditions such that they derive as much benefit in the use of these medications.
Safety considerations are paramount in this form of treatment, to prevent any overdoses and any harmful side effects becoming problematic.
Although medication management is important for anybody having to take many different medications on an ongoing basis, it is particularly important where older people are concerned.
Where someone is having to take five or more different medications every day, this is referred to as 'polypharmacy' and can increase the risk of drug interactions or drug duplications which may cause harm. The opposite extreme is also unhelpful, as if a dose is too small, or if it is missed, or a course of medication is not completed, this increases the risk of the medication not having the desired effect.
Medication management is particularly important in the light of a 2019 report by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, which indicated that 250,000 hospital admissions every year are as a result of issues related to medication and around 400,000 emergency department admissions are probably due to issues with medication. All of this results in an annual cost of $1.4B where, the report states, half of this is preventable.
A formal medication management plan will…
- Optimise the patient's use of all of the medications they are taking.
- Improve the chances of the patient meeting their healthcare objectives.
- Reduce side effects, duplication of medication and medication interactions.
- Minimise cost both to the taxpayer and the patient by significantly reducing the risk of incorrect doses or not taking medication.