Meds75+ promotes medication safety in older people - the goal is international recognition

Healthcare professional and senior gentleman.
© GettyImages/Cecilie Arcurs

Despite the global pandemic, the work on Fimea's Meds75+ database exceeded the working group’s expectations. One of the objectives in 2021 was to promote use of the Meds75+ database in health care to support decisions concerning pharmacotherapy among older people in Finland. Another aim was to promote use of the database in Finland, especially as the foundation for scientific research done in cooperation with various researchers and research groups

“The research-related aim was realised well. The information in the database has been used in several studies that examine medication safety and the quality of pharmacotherapy,” says Researcher Johanna Jyrkkä from Fimea, who is coordinating development of the Meds75+ service.

International interest in Meds75+

Meds75+ has also sparked interest on the international level. In contrast to many international recommendations, Meds75+ not only lists the medicines that older people should avoid on paper, it also operates in an online environment and is therefore easily accessible to everyone. 

“The recommendation text for each drug substance provides information on dosing of the medication, the risks associated with its use, and any restrictions associated with ageing,” explains Jyrkkä.

“The recommendation texts also take into account any interactions that a drug substance may have with a specific drug substance or provide a warning if it has a lot of significant interactions with different substances.”

Meds75+ has already been incorporated into Latvia’s basic register. Communication has played an important role in raising awareness of the database. For example, more information about the database is needed in English, and both national and international articles were produced and published during 2021 as part of the assessment process.

Meds75+ as a part of prescription writing programs?

The database also took a major technical step forward: Meds75+ was incorporated into Fimea's register of medicinal products and marketing authorisations (Saga).

 “Now that the database is part of Saga, it will be easier for us to obtain information about new medicinal substances and if any changes occur in the texts related to medicinal substances. The process of updating the database will also be simpler,” says Jyrkkä.

In the future, the structure of information in the database will be improved so that it can be better integrated with other health care systems. For example, this would make it easier for physicians to use the information.

“Our dream is to make Meds75+ a part of prescription writing programs. This would allow physicians to see the Meds75+ information when writing a prescription.”

“If the information in the database can be used to prevent even a single harmful effect caused by an older person’s medication, it will have been worth all the effort,” summarises Jyrkkä.

Meds 75. Database of medication for older persons.

The purpose of the Meds75+ database of medication for older persons is to support the clinical decision-making on the pharmacotherapy of persons over 75 years of age and to improve medication safety in primary health care.

The database contains classification and recommendation for almost 500 drug substances or their combination when used in older persons. The database is primarily intended for physicians and other health care professionals.