As a consequence of population aging, we have witnessed in internal medicine hospital wards a progressive shift from a population of in-patients relatively young and mainly affected by a single ailment to one of ever older and more and more complex patients with multiple chronic diseases, followed as out-patients by many different specialists with poor integration and inevitably treated with multiple medications. Polypharmacy (defined as the chronic intake of five or more drugs) is associated with increased risks of drug–drug interactions and related adverse effects, prescription and intake errors, poor compliance, re-hospitalization and mortality. With this background, the Italian Society of Internal Medicine chose to start in 2008 a prospective register called REPOSI (REgistro POliterapie SIMI, Società Italiana di Medicina Interna) in internal medicine and geriatric hospital wards. The country wide register is an ongoing observatory on multimorbidity and polypharmacy in the oldest old, with the goal to improve prescription appropriateness and, thus to avoid potentially inappropriate medications. The main findings of the register, that has accrued so far, 7005 older patients throughout a 10 year period, are summarized herewith, with special emphasis on the main patterns of poor prescription appropriateness and related risks of adverse events.
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