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Keywords:

  • ageing;
  • drug prescribing;
  • elderly patients

The hazards of prescribing many drugs, including side-effects, drug interactions, and difficulties of compliance, have long been recognized as particular problems when prescribing for elderly people. The need for appropriate and rational prescribing for elderly patients has been prioritized in the National Service Framework for Older People. This review addresses the research evidence on epidemiology of prescribing in elderly patients, methods of measuring the quality, and the role of the prescriber and the multidisciplinary team in the day-to-day optimization of drug therapy.