Drug manufacturers, it seems, have failed in providing suitable warning labels on prescription drugs that patients rely on every day. Researchers at Michigan State University (MSU) conducted a study that found most patients do not notice warning labels on prescription bottles.
The elderly are particularly at risk of missing important warnings, since poorer eyesight means it’s difficult to read the print on the prescription packet or bottle.
Red and Yellow: These colors do not grab a reader’s attention
The study results make it clear that drug companies need to make some serious changes in order to make warning labels more attention-grabbing. The study showed that red and yellow warning labels failed to get a reader’s attention, and only 50% of participants in the study directed their eyes to reading any color-coded labels at all.
What is scary is that these labels often contain important information, including warnings to avoid alcohol consumption while taking a drug.
Michigan State University recommends overhaul of prescription labeling system
Here is MSU’s recommendation on what is needed to improve the system:
“…a complete overhaul of the design and labeling of the ubiquitous amber bottles, which have seen little change since their introduction some 50 years ago,” said Laura Bix, associate professor in MSU’s School of Packaging.
In fact, MSU recommends moving all the important warnings to the main white label, which 100% of patients did read.
Elderly patients take up to 10 medications daily
This is a particularly serious issue for elderly patients, since 30% of patients over age 65 take up to 10 different medications every day. Prescription drugs are supposed to improve our health, but an ineffective (or worse, incorrect) warning label can have a devastating consequence for our loved ones, especially if a doctor or pharmacist fails to catch dangerous drug interactions.
Have you or a loved one been the victim of incorrect drug labeling?
If you or a family member has had an adverse drug reaction because of mislabeled prescription warnings, or incorrect dosage instructions, then you should contact a pharmacy error lawyer to investigate the facts of your case.
Our office offers a free case consultation and we also operate on a contingency fee basis, which means if we do not make a successful recovery in your case you do not owe us anything. If you would like to start a free case review today contact our office at 1-888-526-7616.