The Medicines and Ageing (pharmacogeriatric) program within WACHA is led by Associate Professor Christopher Etherton-Beer with broad collaboration from academic pharmacists and general practitioners, consumers and other stakeholders. The program has attracted outstanding researchers such as Dr Kathleen Potter who completed an NHMRC funded fellowship examining deprescribing in the MidWest region of Western Australia. Ms Amy Page, 2015 Young Pharmacist of the Year , is completing a PhD on deprescribing and medication use by people with dementia. In addition, the group is leading the Opti-Med study of deprescribing.
The Opti-Med Study De-prescribing Medications in Residential Aged Care Facilities
Polypharmacy and use of inappropriate medicines are common among people living in residential aged care facilities, a frail population with limited life expectancy. Available evidence shows survival and wellbeing are adversely affected by over prescribing.
WACHA is working with the University of Sydney is investigating whether medication reduction is safe among older people living in residential aged care facilities and can lead to improved physical health, cognitive function and quality of life. This this study is a randomised double blind placebo controlled trial with an additional open intervention arm. This study is due to be completed in 2017.