AARP Policy Institute Advocates for Research and Policy Change to Improve Medication Literacy

Jan 19, 2022

In a “spotlight” research report, AARP’s Public Policy Institute advocates for separating medication literacy from health literacy as 86 percent of adults ages 65 and older regularly take at least one prescription medication and the average Medicare beneficiary takes 4.6 prescriptions per month.

Specifically, the Spotlight defines both health and medication literacy while examining three questions: Why is medication literacy an important concept in understanding older adults’ medication decision making? What is the evidence of medication literacy levels among older adults? How can improved understanding and measurement of medication literacy allow stakeholders to develop targeted interventions that improve medication decision making among older adults?

The report is filled with useful data and information for age- and dementia friendly community stakeholders interested in collaborating with healthcare and pharmacy partners. Age-friendly communities that identified the domain of “Communication and Information” as a priority focus area can start conversations locally about how to promote medication literacy.

Ultimately, the report makes recommendations aimed at researchers, providers, insurers and policymakers that includes proposing a national plan on promoting medication literacy.

For more information, check out the research report here.