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4CPS-223 A study on the perception of elderly patients on the expiration date and storage of prescribed medication: a questionnaire study
  1. E Byun,
  2. S Hong,
  3. N Kim,
  4. S Baek,
  5. K Yeon
  1. VHS Medical Centre, Pharmacy Department, Seoul, South Korea


Background and Importance Due to the increase in the elderly population in Korea, the number of powdered medicines and long-term repackaging of prescriptions has increased. As a result, the safety of medicines is becoming vulnerable.

Aim and Objectives This study aims to find out how elderly patients perceive the expiration date and storage of prescription drugs and to consider appropriate patient education for the safe use of drugs.

Material and Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted among 221 elderly outpatients from 14 December 2022 to 21 April 2023 at Veterans Health Service (VHS) medical centre in Seoul, South Korea. The questionnaire was divided into five parts. We used a Chi-squared test and Fisher’s exact test to compare each group and p<0.05 was considered statistically.

Results A survey of 213 people was analysed, excluding eight who dropped out. When asked about the expiration date of the prescribed medicines, the most people responded ‘3 months’. The main storage place for medicines was the ‘living room/bedroom drawer’ at 30.52%. The main storage places for powdered medicines were 28.64% for ‘refrigerator/kimchi refrigerator’ and 26.29% for ‘living room/bedroom drawer.’ There were 136 people (63.85%) who responded that they would grind 3 months’ worth of powdered medicine at once, and the most common reason given by 66 people (30.99%) was ‘difficulty in grinding’. Seventy-seven people (36.15%) said they would crush the pill every time they took it, and the most common reason was ‘risk of deterioration’ at 37 people (17.37%). There was no statistically significant difference when analysing the perception of expiration date and storage of medicines according to drug managers and perception of powdered medicine according to whether or not to prescribe powdered medicine.

Conclusion and Relevance Elderly patients recognised the expiration date of oral medicines was shorter than recommended by the Korean Pharmaceutical Association. There was also a lack of awareness of how to properly store medicines. Therefore, in consideration of drug safety, long-term prescriptions, repackaged prescriptions, and powdered preparations should be avoided if possible. If medical institutions conduct patient education for the safe use of medicines, they will be able to provide proper pharmacist services that consider the safety of medicines.

Conflict of Interest No conflict of interest.

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