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Impact of frailty status on the cost of drugs and dietary supplements prescribed to nursing home residents: the SENIOR cohort



The financial impact associated with drug consumption has been poorly investigated among frail subjects and, specifically, in nursing home settings.


To determine the association of the average monthly cost of the drugs and dietary supplements consumed by nursing home residents with their frailty status.


This is an analysis of the first follow-up year of the SENIOR cohort. All participants were classified into “frail” or “non-frail” categories according to Fried’s criteria at baseline. Monthly bills from the pharmacy were analysed to determine the association between the average monthly cost of the drugs and dietary supplements consumed and frailty status.


A sample of 87 residents (83.8 ± 9.33 years and 75.9% women) from the SENIOR cohort was included. The prevalence of frailty was 28%. The median number of medications consumed each day was 9 (6–12) (no difference between frail and non-frail subjects; p = 0.15). The overall median monthly cost was € 109.6, of which 49% was covered by Belgian social security and the remaining balance was paid by the patient. When comparing the drug expenses of the frail subjects and the non-frail subjects, the overall average monthly cost did not differ between the 2 groups (p = 0.057). Nevertheless, the expenditure remaining to be paid by the residents, after the Belgian social security intervention, was significantly higher among the frail residents (€ 65.7) than among the non-frail residents (€ 47.6; p = 0.017).


Frailty status has an impact on the expenditures related to the consumption of drugs.

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Correspondence to F. Buckinx.

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All procedures were approved by the Ethics Committee of the University of Liège.

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All participants provided informed written consent after having received information on nature, goal, procedures and risks associated with the study.

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Buckinx, F., Charles, A., Quabron, A. et al. Impact of frailty status on the cost of drugs and dietary supplements prescribed to nursing home residents: the SENIOR cohort. Aging Clin Exp Res 31, 875–880 (2019).

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  • Frailty
  • Drugs
  • Dietary supplements
  • Cost
  • Nursing home