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More than 50% of prescriptions is written for people aged 65 years and older. Many older people suffer from comorbid conditions and one in three takes at least five drugs or more on a daily basis. This significantly increases the risk of Adverse Drug Events (ADEs) and hospitalization. Up to one third of emergency admissions in elderly people is drug-related.
There remains a lack of clinical data to support prescription decisions as relatively few medicines have been clinically evaluated in age-appropriate patients. In addition, many drugs are not available in formulations that are suitable for the elderly, leading to non-compliance and lack of therapeutic efficacy. In 2011, the EMA introduced its Geriatric Medicines Strategy to ensure that the medical requirements of older people are identified earlier in the drug development process. In 2012, the ICH E7 guidelines were revised to include a greater focus on involving more geriatric patients in drug trials.
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