American Geriatrics Society Updated Beers Criteria for Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use in Older Adults

American Geriatrics Society 2012 Beers Criteria Update Expert Panel

Disclosures

J Am Geriatr Soc. 2012;60(4):616-631. 

In This Article

Intent of Criteria

The 2012 AGS Beers Criteria are intended for use in all ambulatory and institutional settings of care for populations aged 65 and older in the United States. The primary target audience is the practicing clinician. Researchers, pharmacy benefit managers, regulators, and policy-makers also use the criteria widely. The intentions of the criteria include improving the selection of prescription drugs by clinicians and patients, evaluating patterns of drug use within populations, educating clinicians and patients on proper drug usage, and evaluating health-outcome, quality of care, cost, and utilization data.

The goal of the 2012 AGS Beers Criteria is to improve care of older adults by reducing their exposure to PIMs. This is accomplished by their use as an educational tool and a quality measure—two uses that are not always in agreement. These criteria are not meant to be applied in a punitive manner. Prescribing decisions are not always clear cut, and clinicians must consider multiple factors. Quality measures must be clearly defined, easily applied, and measured with limited information. The panel considered both roles during deliberations. The panel's review of evidence at times identified subgroups of individuals who should be exempt from the criteria or for whom only a specific criterion applies. Such a criterion may not be easily applied as a quality measure. These applications were balanced with the needs and complexities of the individual. The panel felt that a criterion could not be expanded to include all adults aged 65 and older when only individuals with specific characteristics may benefit or be at greater risk of harm.

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