Case Study – Poland | SIMPATHY project


Polish healthcare systems, together with other European Union (EU) countries, must face the problem of rapid ageing of our societies. The increase in population of those aged 65+ will affect the average number of medications taken by patients due to their multimorbidities, longer lifespan and progress in pharmaceutical research. Due to this fact, polypharmacy in next few decades will be one of the major challenges for Polish healthcare. Although several countries in the EU have addressed this issue, there are still many Member States in which no policies regarding polypharmacy have been approved, one of which is Poland. Our case study was a thorough analysis of the current state of the art. Beginning with a systematic desk review, which returned no existing policies or guidelines on polypharmacy in Poland, it was confirmed that Poland lacks regulations in this matter. Key informant interviews and focus group studies revealed several major barriers to effective implementation of polypharmacy and adherence management policies. One of them was the lack of effective communication between healthcare professionals. At the moment in Poland, there is no nationwide electronic patient record which could help transfer information about patients, their health history, results and more between physicians, pharmacists, nurses and the other specialists. This summary presents a brief description of the findings of this study, and particularly, of the barriers that need to be overcome should effective policies against improper polypharmacy in the elderly be adopted in Poland.