CHARMER is a five year (2020-2025) England-wide research project to develop and test an approach to increasing discussions with older hospital patients (over the age of 65) about stopping medicines that are no longer useful and could be harmful. This is called proactive deprescribing.
This is important since as we get older, our bodies are less able to handle some medicines. Medicines that were once effective and safe, may no longer work as well but could still cause side effects. Our research shows that most older people want their medicines reviewed while in hospital.
We aim to help ensure that older people who take a number of medicines have them all considered whenever they are admitted to hospital for any reason.
We have researched the reasons why a medicine review like this doesn’t always happen and designed an approach in the form of training for hospital doctors and pharmacists that should ensure that it does happen.
We did this with the help of patients and their family members, as well as hospital doctors and pharmacists.
We are now trialling this approach in a number of hospitals to see how well it works.