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“Don’t forget to take your medicine!” Improving the use of medicine by elderly patients in the region of Madrid


In Spain a high percentage of elderly people aged over 75 experience chronic diseases and multiple health problems. Patients are often faced with complex therapies and taking multiple medications, so that forget some them or get confused on what should be taken and when.

To tackle these problems, the Health Agency of Madrid region designed and delivered a prevention programme in 2006 that was specifically targeted at elderly patients. Its objective was to reduce health risks and adverse impacts that can result from misuse of multiple medicines.

The programme is based on personalised medication schemes which are co-designed by health professionals and patients. It offers regular reviews involving primary care centres and pharmacies in the Madrid region.

Currently more than 100,000 patients are taking part in the programme, which has produced very positive results for them and and also achieved savings for the public sector. As a result, other regions such as Extremadura and the Canary Islands are now seeking to implement similiar prevention programmes. The programme has won a special distinction in the category ‘good practices’ from the VI Quality Excellence Award for Public Services in Spain. 

About this case study
Main Contact

Encarnación Cruz Martos
Subdirectora de C. de Farmacia y P.S.
D.G. de Gestión Económica y de Compras de Productos Sanitarios y Farmacéuticos
Servicio Madrileño de Salud. Consejería de Sanidad


Phone: 00 34 91 426 9917/9902

Fernando Gil and Salvador Parrado wrote this case study for Governance International on 28 August 2012.

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