Medicines key to seniors staying well
A new report released by National Seniors Productive Ageing Centre has found that prescription medicines are currently used by 81% of Australians over the age of 50, with 24% taking five medicines or more.
More than half of people surveyed for the report, Senior Australians and Prescription Medicines state there would be a significant impact on their functioning (46%) or they could not function in the workplace and everyday life at all (7%) if they were unable to take their prescription medicines.
Nearly half (47%) of respondents reported their health as good, and an additional 22% perceived their health as very good.
“This report provides significant insights into the use of prescription medicines by senior Australians. The report underscores the role of medicines in maintaining a healthy, ageing population,” said Dr Brendan Shaw, Chief Executive of Medicines Australia.
“Australians have the third highest life expectancy in the world, with people today living 30 years longer on average than they were a little over 100 years ago. That’s a remarkable yet unheralded achievement.
“Developments in medicines and vaccines over the last 30 years have made an important contribution to this outcome. Medicines to treat cardio vascular disease, arthritis, cancer, multiple sclerosis, diabetes and other conditions are helping to keep senior Australians living longer and better,” Dr Shaw said.
The top concerns reported by seniors are heart disease or stroke (23%), followed by cancer (21%) and dementia or Alzheimer’s disease (13%).
“The Australian medicines industry is committed to bringing effective, new and innovative treatments to improve both quality of life and longevity for ageing Australians,” Dr Shaw said.
The report, Senior Australians and Prescription Medicines: Usage, Sources of Information and Affordability is available from The National Seniors Productive Ageing Centre (NSPAC) website.
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