Korean J Clin Pharm.  2015 Sep;25(3):159-165. 10.0000/kjcp.2015.25.3.159.

Risk Factors of Potentially Inappropriate Medications and Cost by Polypharmacy among Elderly Patients of a Community Pharmacy near a Top Tier General Hospital

  • 1Graduate School of Clinical Health Sciences, Ewha Womans University, Seoul 120-750, South Korea. sandy.rhie@ewha.ac.kr
  • 2Mirae Pharmacy, Seoul 02842, South Korea.
  • 3Korea Institute of Drug Safety and Risk Management, Anyang 14051, South Korea.
  • 4College of Pharmacy, Ewha Womans University, Seoul 120-750, South Korea.


Polypharmacy is one of the main causes of inappropriate medication use, adverse drug-related events and cost. It aimed to investigate the status of polypharmacy and potentially inappropriate medication (PIM), the factors affecting polypharmacy and cost in elderly outpatients. METHOD: A pharmacy claim data were retrospectively analyzed with elderly patients prescriptions at a pharmacy located near a top tier general hospital. The numbers of medications per person, prevalence of polypharmacy and PIM according to the 2012 Beers criteria and Korea PIM list, medication cost and the factors affecting polypharmacy were investigated.
Forty-six percentages of the elderly outpatients received polypharmacy and over 21% of them had medications listed in Beers or Korean PIM. In multiregressional analysis, we found that age, gender and insurance types were affective factors of polypharmacy. (p < 0.001, 0.047, 0.009, respectively). The cost of polypharmacy with PIM in elderly outpatients was increased with age. Various approaches of interventions would be further required.


polypharmacy; potentially inappropriate medication; elderly; community pharmacy
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