The “poisonous cocktail,” as it’s called in the healthcare biz, is the staggeringly common practice of over-prescribing prescription drugs — primarily to older adults. As The New York Times reported in a great piece a couple years ago:
This is what doctors call polypharmacy, otherwise known as a “poisonous cocktail” of many drugs that can interact in dangerous ways and cause side effects that can be far worse than the diseases they are treating. Elderly people are especially vulnerable because they often have several medical problems for which they see different doctors, each prescribing drugs, often without knowing what else the patient is taking.
Below is a clip of Dr. Bill discussing polypharmacy while visiting with the Shahbazim and staff at St. Johns Lutheran Ministries in Billings, MT, this afternoon. It was a fantastic visit with one of the early adopters of the Green House Project — St. John’s Green House cottages have been operating for five years. St. John’s co-sponsored “The Times of Our Lives” conference at Montana State University, where Bill gave the keynote address today. In a wide-ranging discussion and Q&A at St. John’s, Bill shared this simple, but effective, exercise he gives to medical students to educate them on the danger of polypharmcy: