- More than one-third of proton pump inhibitor (PPI) prescriptions for older patients are potentially low value, without any documented evidence-based indication.
Why this matters
- Older adults are particularly vulnerable to PPI-associated complications, such as Clostridioides difficile infections, kidney toxicity, and osteoporotic fractures.
- Targeted physician interventions or electronic health record (EHR)-based stopping rules could protect patients from harm.
- Researchers reviewed the health records of 399 patients aged ≥65 years prescribed any PPI by primary care physicians in a large academic health system (63.9% women; 67.9% white; mean age, 76.2±8.5 years).
- Potentially low-value prescriptions were defined as those lacking a guideline-based indication for treatment.
- Funding: None disclosed.
- More than one-third (35.8%) of prescriptions were potentially low value (95% CI, 31.3%‐40.7%).
- Most potentially low-value prescriptions (81.1%) had a guideline-based indication for short-term treatment but continued >8 weeks without a long-term indication.
- More than half (59.2%) of potentially low-value prescriptions were written by only 18.9% (32/169) of primary care providers.
- Findings may not apply to other health systems.
- Some prescriptions may have undocumented evidence-based indications.