Richard Week, a 70 year old man with multi-system disease, sees over ten doctors and is taking over 20 prescription medications, a handful of vitamins and OTCs and still has many unexplained symptoms. His physicians worry that drug-drug interactions are the cause of some of his complaints; yet, they are unwilling to risk stopping them. “Not on my shift,” they think.
Enter, 95 year-old Dr. Morris Collen, a founding father of Kaiser Permanente, who, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, started focusing on drug-drug interactions in patients taking “polypharmacy.” (It is estimated that patients in their 80s take an average of eight different medications a day.) Due to funding restrictions, his group abandoned the quest in 1971.
"Multiple drug reactions are not really studied to the extent that I feel our public deserves," Collen said. "To me, it's the most important thing we can do since our population is aging." After more than 35 years, Dr. Collen’s quest has been rejuvenated by Kaiser in association with IBM.
MedPage Today has an article and a video report about Dr. Collen that is well-worth reading and viewing. Pioneering Researcher’s Lifelong Quest in Drug Interactions and Video
These may help you, a family member or one or your patients in important ways.