Term: Polypharmacy

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Glossary Definition

Last Updated: 2016-06-01


This identifies the number of dispensed medications in a given time frame (e.g.: per year). MCHP research examples include:

  • persons taking six or more different medications per year (Kozyrskyj et al., 2005);
  • the proportion of personal care home (PCH) residents who were dispensed nine or more different categories of medications in a 100-day period (Doupe et al., 2006);
  • the proportion of community-dwelling Manitoba residents age 65 or older taking six or more different drugs in a 121-day period in fiscal years 1996/97-2003/04 (Martens et al., 2008) ; and
  • the proportion of residents that were dispensed seven or more classes of medications during their first year of stay (Doupe et al., 2016).

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  • Doupe M, Finlayson G, Khan S, Yogendran M, Schultz J, McDougall C, Kulbaba C. Supportive Housing for Seniors: Reform Implications for Manitoba's Older Adult Continuum of Care. Winnipeg, MB: Manitoba Centre for Health Policy, 2016. [Summary] [Full Report] (View)
  • Doupe M, Brownell M, Kozyrskyj A, Dik N, Burchill C, Dahl M, Chateau D, De Coster C, Hinds A, Bodnarchuk J. Using Administrative Data to Develop Indicators of Quality Care in Personal Care Homes. Winnipeg, MB: Manitoba Centre for Health Policy, 2006. [Summary] [Full Report] [Data extras] (View)
  • Kozyrskyj A, Lix L, Dahl M, Soodeen R. High-cost Users of Pharmaceuticals: Who are They? Winnipeg, MB: Manitoba Centre for Health Policy, 2005. [Summary] [Full Report] (View)
  • Martens P, Fransoo R, The Need to Know Team, Burland E, Prior H, Burchill C, Romphf L, Chateau D, Bailly A, Ouelette C. What Works? A First Look at Evaluating Manitoba's Regional Health Programs and Policies at the Population Level. Winnipeg, MB: Manitoba Centre for Health Policy, 2008. [Summary] [Full Report] [Data extras] (View)