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

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).


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

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