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This paper outlines the use of both prescribed and non-prescribed medication by the elderly in the community. The study examined a number of factors related to medication including compliance, the types of drugs taken, the manner in which drugs were stored and disposed of, and the advice that patients received. The findings revealed a lack of coordination of responsibility in the management of patients' medicines leading to inappropriate drug use, posing a potential risk to the patient. It is against this background that we propose that the role of the general practice pharmacist should be extended within a structured health care programme; pharmacists should be encouraged to keep total medication records on patients of 65 and over.