A Database Analysis of Potentially Inappropriate Drug Use in an Elderly Medicaid Population

Lance T. Piecoro, Procter & Gamble
Steven R. Browning, University of Kentucky
T. Scott Prince, University of Kentucky
Thomas T. Ranz, Omnicare
F. Douglas Scutchfield, University of Kentucky

Published in Pharmacotherapy, v. 20, no. 2, p. 221-228.

Copyright © 2000 Pharmacotherapy Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.


We conducted a cross-sectional retrospective review of 1996 Kentucky Medicaid Pharmacy claims data to examine the prevalence of potentially inappropriate drug use in 64,832 Medicaid recipients aged 65 years and older who received a prescription. Twenty-seven percent of patients received at least one potentially inappropriate agent. Prevalence was higher for nursing home residents (33%) than for community dwellers (24%). Amitriptyline (7.6%), propoxyphene (6.5%), doxepin (4.0%), and indomethacin (2.3%) were the most prescribed potentially inappropriate agents. Education programs and interventions aimed at optimizing the prescribing and dispensing of the most appropriate drugs are needed.