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SIMPATHY project to tackle polypharmacy in the elderly


A key public health challenge for Europe is to address the issue of inappropriate polypharmacy and non-adherence as the population ages. Health care pathway silos contribute to suboptimal medication.  It is now realised that there is a need for better integrated care pathways, including the regular review of polypharmacy and adherence in elderly patients suffering from multimorbid conditions.

It is also important, in this current economic climate, to demonstrate the health economic benefits of appropriate medication management to the citizens and to the public care providers.  The SIMPATHY project, aims to Stimulate Innovation in the Management of Polypharmacy and Adherence in THe elderlY. Adherence to therapy and appropriate polypharmacy are key issues across health care related areas targeted for action by different groups of the European Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing (EIP-AHA), including A1 (Adherence to Prescription), A3 (Functional Decline and Frailty), B3 (Integrated Care) and others. So far, the SIMPATHY consortium has conducted desk reviews, interviews, focus groups and a systematic review of scientific and grey literature related to management of polypharmacy. The next step is to engage multiple stakeholder groups who share the vision of better care for the elderly. 

Healthcare professionals, policy makers and health strategists are particularly invited to join our stakeholder database. We would like to involve you in the journey by keeping you up to date and sharing resources and tools as they are developed by the SIMPATHY project team.

The SIMPATHY project delivered nine case studies addressing polypharmacy issues in Catalonia (Spain), Germany, Greece, Italy, Northern Ireland (UK), Poland, Portugal, Scotland (UK) and Sweden. Moreover, profiting from the outstanding participation of healthcare stakeholders, pharmacists, educators, politicians and policymakers, patients and patient representatives, the SIMPATHY project conducted a benchmarking survey collecting over 1,000 contributions across Europe. Shortly, the results of the benchmarking survey, PESTEL analysis, Delphi study and a roadmap for change management of polypharmacy in Europe will be released.

SIMPATHY project results are widely available to stakeholders at the SIMPATHY project website www.simpathy.eu, as well as in the social media (https://www.facebook.com/SimpathyProject/, ttps://twitter.com/SimpathyProject). Everyone is invited to the public events inspired by the International Day of the Older Person, organised by the SIMPATHY Project partners, as well as a dedicated high-level stakeholder’s meeting in Brussels (April 27, 2017). Some results of the project will also be presented at the European Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing Conference of Partners (Brussels, 5-8 December, 2016).

We want to include your views so please sign up using our contact form (http://www.simpathy.eu/contact-us).

The SIMPATHY project has been funded by the European Union’s Health Programme (2014-2020) (Grant 663082).

Related action groups: 
A1 Adherence to prescription, A3 Lifespan Health Promotion & Prevention of Age Related Frailty and Disease, B3 Integrated care