Proton pump inhibitors utilisation in older people in New Zealand from 2005 to 2013

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Background: The prescriptions for proton pump inhibitors (PPI) to treat acid-related disorders continue to rise internationally and in New Zealand. Concerns have been raised regarding its widespread use, costs and potential adverse effects in older people. Aims: This study aimed to characterise the utilisation of PPI by older people (aged 65 years and older) in New Zealand from 2005 to 2013. Methods: Repeated cross-sectional analysis of population-level dispensing data was conducted from 1 January 2005 to 31 December 2013. Dispensing data for all PPI prescriptions from 2005 to 2013 were obtained from the Ministry of Health, New Zealand. Utilisation was measured in defined daily doses (DDD) per 1000 older people per day using the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Drug Statistics Methodology anatomic, therapeutic and chemical classification system. Utilisation was standardised by sex, age, ethnicity and district health board. Results: Overall PPI utilisation showed a 26.7% increase from 2005 to 2013, from 273.41 to 346.53 DDD/1000/day. The greatest utilisation was observed in individuals aged between 80 and 84 years. Middle Eastern/Latin American/African utilised more PPI compared with other ethnic groups. Conclusions: Utilisation of PPI among older people in New Zealand increased by a fifth from 2005 to 2013. Given the concerns surrounding the long-term PPI use in older people, the appropriateness of the increased utilisation needs to be continuously re-evaluated by prescribers and health policy makers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)624-629
Number of pages6
JournalInternal Medicine Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Defined daily dose
  • Older person
  • Omeprazole
  • Proton pump inhibitor
  • Utilisation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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