Navigation Links
Most prescription labels fail to meet guidelines, risking dosage errors
Date:7/9/2014

Small print and poor printing on prescription labels handed out by pharmacists may be misread and may lead to errors in taking medication, according to new research by the University of Waterloo and CNIB (Canadian National Institute for the Blind).

The study, published recently in the Canadian Pharmacists Journal, found that labels on prescription medications dispensed by pharmacies do not consistently follow professionally recommended guidelines for legibility.

By simply following recommended guidelines for font size, use of bolding, justification, sentence case and spacing, researchers expect pharmacies can improve the legibility of their labels without the need for new technologies or larger labels.

"Surprisingly, there are few guidelines and no regulations for the print on prescription labels in Canada," said Dr. Sue Leat from Waterloo's School of Optometry and Vision Science. "In Ontario, regulations specify only the content of prescription labels, not how they appear."

Health professionals and patients are finding label appearance is more important as a significant number of older Canadians experience vision and reading comprehension problems. Patients also prefer to read their own prescriptions to preserve their privacy and independence.

Researchers asked 45 pharmacies in Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge to print a sample prescription label with the patient's name, drug name and instructions for use. The sample label was then compared with label printing recommendations from pharmaceutical and health organizations, and non-governmental organizations for readability.

The results show that less than half 44 per cent of labels met the minimum font size of 12 points. Only half of labels were printed left-justified and few met the recommendations for best use of spacing.

All labels used capital lettering, which is difficult for patients with eye problems to read, instead of the recommended sentence case.

More than 90 per cent of labels followed guidelines for font style, contrast, black print and non-glossy paper.

"The research shows that factors such as font size, sentence alignment, case and contrast can impact the readability of the label," said Professor Carlos H. Rojas-Fernandez from Waterloo's School of Pharmacy and a Schlegel Research Chair in Geriatric Pharmacotherapy. "We expect that addressing these factors together will improve the accessibility of prescription labels. We need to move from a pharmacy-centred labelling standard, to a patient-centred one."

This is the first collaborative research project between Waterloo's School of Pharmacy and School of Optometry and Vision Science and was funded by the CNIB Baker Fund.

"CNIB helps thousands of Canadians with vision loss maintain their independence," said Deborah Gold, a study co-author and national director, research and program development at CNIB. "In order to do this and eliminate potentially dangerous medication accidents, we need to raise this issue amongst our colleagues in the pharmacy community."

Recommended guidelines considered in this study came from the US Pharmacopeia (USP), the American Society for Consultant Pharmacists, the National Patient Safety Agency in the UK, the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB), the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB), the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) in the UK, and the American Council of the Blind (ACB).

The researchers plan to develop a prototype pharmaceutical label and test its readability and accuracy and use a questionnaire to survey pharmacists and patients (with and without visual impairments).


'/>"/>

Contact: Nick Manning
nmanning@uwaterloo.ca
519-888-4451
University of Waterloo
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Death by prescription painkiller
2. President Clinton to open town hall on prescription drug abuse at Johns Hopkins University
3. Prescriptions for opioids stabilizing after fivefold increase in 10-year span
4. In fight against teen prescription drug abuse, one-two punch wins
5. Mobile Health Prescription Discount Cards Saved Users 67% in 2013 off Prescription Costs
6. Newark Treatment Center Announces Program to Battle Prescription Drug Substance Abuse
7. Seattle Drug Detox Center Launches New Program to Help People Stop Dependency on Cocaine, Heroin and Prescription Drugs
8. Lipitor Lawsuit News: Bernstein Liebhard LLP Notes Criticism of New Statin Guidelines That Could Result in Millions of New Lipitor Prescriptions
9. US Prescription Drug Market Worth $457.3 Billion by 2021 Says Healthcare Policy Update Report at RnRMarketResearch.com
10. The FDA is Pushing For Greater Restrictions on Prescription Painkillers: Now what?
11. Prescription opioid abusers prefer to get high on oxycodone and hydrocodone
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... , ... October 13, 2017 , ... The American Board ... become its next President and Chief Executive Officer, succeeding Dr. James C. Puffer upon ... beginning July 1, 2018 until Dr. Puffer’s retirement at the end of 2018. Upon ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Apple ... care services, staged a mock evacuation of the facility as part of a disaster ... Fire Department, Echo Hose EMS and Shelton City Emergency Manager, as well as the ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor and Overseer at The House of ... popular and least understood books in the Holy Scriptures, Revelation. The Book of Revelation ... scholars for centuries. Many have tossed it off as mere rubbish, but Yisrayl Hawkins ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... First Healthcare Compliance (FHC), an ... showcase a range of technology and learning solutions at the 68th Annual American ... to be held October 14–18, 2017 at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... , ... The American College of Medical Informatics (ACMI) will present the 2017 ... Session of AMIA’s Annual Symposium in Washington, D.C. AMIA’s Annual Symposium is ... pioneer in the field of medical informatics, this prestigious award is presented to an ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... Oct. 12, 2017 West Pharmaceutical Services, ... solutions for injectable drug administration, today announced that it ... opens on Thursday, October 26, 2017, and will follow ... business expectations at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time. To participate ... (International). The conference ID is 94093362. ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... , Oct. 10, 2017  NDS received FDA 510(k) clearance in ... medical-grade battery-powered display stand specifically designed for endoscopy environments. An innovative ... into a clinical solution to support the improvement of patient outcomes, ... Design ... Solution ...
(Date:10/4/2017)... the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), influenza vaccination should ... helping communities across Massachusetts , Connecticut ... shots through the end of the month. *Some exclusions apply ... ... is by the end of October, according to the Centers for Disease ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: