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Potentially inappropriate prescribing in older adults with advanced chronic kidney disease

Molnar AO, Bota S , Jeyakumar N, McArthur E, Battistella M, Garg AX, Sood MM, Brimble KS. PLoS One. 2020; 15(8):e0237868. Epub 2020 Aug 20. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0237868


Background — Older adults with chronic kidney disease (CKD) are at heightened risk for polypharmacy. We examined potentially inappropriate prescribing in this population and whether introducing pharmacists into the ambulatory kidney care model was associated with improved prescribing practices.

Methods — Retrospective cohort study using linked administrative databases. We included patients with an eGFR ≤30 mL/min/1.73 m2 ≥66 years of age followed in multidisciplinary kidney clinics in Ontario, Canada (n = 25,016 from 28 centres). The primary outcome was the absence of a statin prescription or the receipt of a potentially inappropriate prescription defined by the American Geriatric Society Beers Criteria® and a modified Delphi panel that identified key drugs of concern in CKD. We calculated the crude cumulative incidence and incidence rate for the primary outcome and used change-point regression to determine if a change occurred following pharmacist introduction.

Results — There were 6,007 (24%) and 16,497 patients (66%) not prescribed a statin and with ≥1 potentially inappropriate prescription, respectively. The rate of potentially inappropriate prescribing was 125.6 per 100 person-years and was higher in more recent years. The change-point regression analysis included 2,275 patients from two centres. No immediate change was detected at pharmacist introduction, but potentially inappropriate prescribing was increasing pre-pharmacist introduction, and this rising trend was reversed post-pharmacist introduction. The incidence of potentially inappropriate prescribing still remained high post-pharmacist introduction.

Conclusions — Potentially inappropriate prescribing practices were common. Incorporating pharmacists into the kidney care model may improve prescribing practices. The role of pharmacists in the ambulatory kidney care team warrants further investigation in a randomized controlled trial.

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