US Pharm. 2011;36(9):HS-39-HS-40.Following discharge from a hospital, patients are at higher risk of unintentional discontinuation of commonly prescribed chronic disease medications, especially for those patients admitted to an intensive care unit, according to a study in JAMA.
Chaim M. Bell, MD, PhD, of St. Michael's Hospital and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, Toronto, and colleagues examined records from 1997 to 2009 of all hospitalizations and outpatient prescriptions in Ontario, Canada. These included 396,380 patients who were 66 years or age or older with continuous use of at least one of five evidence-based medication groups prescribed for long-term use: statins, antiplatelet/anticoagulant agents, levothyroxine, respiratory inhalers, and gastric acid-suppressing drugs.The primary outcome measure was a patient's failure to renew a prescription within 90 days after leaving the hospital. The highest discontinuation rate occurred in the antiplatelet or anticoagulant agent group (n = 5,564; 19.4%). The lowest rate of medication discontinuation (4.5%) occurred in the respiratory inhaler group.