Have you picked up your medication from your local pharmacy only to get home and be confused about the directions or information that came with your prescription? You’re not alone. Many Americans are frustrated about the information that comes with their medications. The reason?
- Information varies from pharmacy to pharmacy
- Print is too small
- Unclear information
- Difficult to understand
When the information that is attached to the paper bag or enclosed with the medication is unclear and difficult to read and understand, it is easier for drug errors to occur. We all deserve accurate and easy-to-read information to be included with our prescriptions to tell us how to take the drug, how much to take and how often, what foods or drinks should be avoided when taking the medication, and what the possible side effects of the prescription are.
Because doctors and pharmacists often don’t counsel us about the medication we are taking, we often rely on the drug labels and package inserts that we receive with our medications to tell us everything we need to know about our prescription. Unfortunately, sometimes this information can create further problems. In fact, millions of Americans are injured every year due to medication errors attributed to poor drug labeling.
A study by the Food and Drug Administration found that 94 percent of consumers receive prescription leaflets at the pharmacy, but only 75 percent of the leaflets met the minimum criteria for usefulness. This is why we need better drug labels and packaging information to protect innocent people from medication mistakes.
By improving the information leaflets that patients receive with their medications, many medication errors may be prevented. To find out more about preventing drug errors, browse through our library of informative articles and blogs or follow us on Twitter.