By Dr. DeLon Canterbury
Overprescribing medications is a well-known problem within the U.S. health care system that surprisingly seems to get very little attention. The mismanagement of medications contributes to over $528 billion of wasted health care expenses, in addition to nearly 275,000 preventable deaths annually.
Prescriptions are literally killing American citizens, and our senior citizens are most likely to suffer the worst from fatal drug interactions. Older adults account for nearly 12 percent of the United States’ population, but consume nearly 30 percent of prescription drugs used within the United States, a figure that is estimated to grow to 40 percent by the year 2030.
“Unfortunately, my grandmother, Mildred, was one of these very same statistics, and had to be removed from her nursing home in NY to my parents’ home in Georgia. She suffered from dementia, which worsened once she was prescribed an antipsychotic medication, known as Ziprasidone. Her behavior became irritable, erratic, and even more confused while she was on this drug for months. My caregiver parents suffered in seeing her mental state decline—she would wake up in the middle of the night and wander our neighborhood or wake my mom up to the ringing of our doorbell.
It wasn’t until a pharmacist stood up for her and found she was prescribed a medication that was harmful and inappropriate, and demanded the prescriber stop this medication. Thankfully, her symptoms subsided after having a pharmacist fight and advocate for my grandmother. “This inspired me to do the same for all of my patients with GeriatRx. I never want any of my patients to experience what my grandmother did,” says Dr. DeLon Canterbury, a recent guest panelist of America’s Heroes Group Military Families Matters Roundtable.
GeriatRx is a health care consulting company focusing on Medication Management, prescription deprescribing, and gene testing to determine which medications will not work for you before taking a single pill.
GeriatRx uses patient-centered methods that take the headache out of health care by providing cost-effective strategies to reduce harmful medications, and by empowering patients and caregivers on how to fight back against a broken health care system while saving thousands of dollars.
GeriatRx helps you and loved ones get off of those medications.
Dr. Canterbury, President/CEO of GeriatRx, Inc., is a Board-Certified Geriatric Pharmacist who focuses on the special needs of older patients who may have concurrent illnesses taking multiple medications. His extensive background ranges from Community Pharmacy, Specialty Pharmacy, to Senior Care Consulting. Dr. Canterbury is being trained as a Medicare and Medicaid specialist through the Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) and is a member of Durham North Carolina’s African American COVID Task Force.