Pharmacist-led medication assessment and deprescribing intervention for older adults with cancer and polypharmacy: a pilot study

Andrew Whitman, Kathlene DeGregory, Amy Morris, Supriya Mohile, Erika Ramsdale
Supportive Care in Cancer: Official Journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer 2018, 26 (12): 4105-4113

PURPOSE: The aims of this study were to compare the application of three geriatric medication screening tools to the Beers Criteria alone for potentially inappropriate medication quantification and to determine feasibility of a pharmacist-led polypharmacy assessment in a geriatric oncology clinic.

METHODS: Adult patients with cancer aged 65 and older underwent a comprehensive geriatric assessment. A polypharmacy assessment was completed by a pharmacist and included a review of all drug therapies. Potentially inappropriate medications were screened using the Beers Criteria, Screening Tool to Alert doctors to Right Treatment/Screening Tool of Older Persons' Prescriptions, and the Medication Appropriateness Index. Deprescribing occurred after discussion with the pharmacist, geriatric oncologist, patient, and caregiver.

RESULTS: Data were collected for 26 patients. The mean number of medications was 12. The Beers Criteria alone identified 38 potentially inappropriate medications compared to 119 potentially inappropriate medications with the three-tool assessment; a mean of 5 potentially inappropriate medications were identified per patient. After the application of the three-tool assessment, 73% of potentially inappropriate medications identified were deprescribed, resulting in a mean of 3 medications deprescribed per patient. Approximately two thirds of patients reported a reduction in symptoms after the deprescribing intervention. Healthcare expenditures of $4282.27 per patient were potentially avoided as a result of deprescribing.

CONCLUSIONS: Our three-tool assessment identified three times more potentially inappropriate medications than the Beers Criteria alone. Pharmacist-led deprescribing interventions are feasible and may lead to improved patient outcomes and cost savings. This three-tool assessment process should be incorporated into interdisciplinary assessments of older patients with cancer and validated in future studies.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Available on the App Store

Available on the Play Store
Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"