Navigation Links
System of Simplified, Standardized Dosing Instructions for Prescription Medication Container Labels Proposed at Sixth Annual National Health Communication Conference

Potential solution developed in response to evidence-based recommendations

in ACP Foundation white paper on improving drug labels

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- You have just been prescribed a new medication by your doctor and the container label says: "take one tablet by mouth twice daily for 7 days." How much and how often should you take your medicine? This might be easy for you to answer, but 46 percent of adults misunderstand at least one prescription container label, according to a 2006 study published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Ninety million Americans -- about half of the adult population -- suffer from low health literacy. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) defines health literacy as the degree to which individuals can obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services they need to make appropriate health decisions.

At today's Sixth Annual National Health Communication Conference co- sponsored by the American College of Physicians Foundation (ACPF) and IOM, Alastair J.J. Wood, MD, FACP, proposed an evidence-based system of simplified, standardized dosing instructions for prescription medication container labels.

Dr. Wood, a member of the ACPF Medication Labeling Technical Advisory Board, called for a Universal Medication Schedule (UMS) that standardizes prescription medication dosing times on drug container labels so that patients are told to take their medicine at the same four times per day, such as breakfast, lunch, dinner, and bedtime. The UMS would replace the current practice which either instructs patients to take the medicine a specific number of times per day or at specific time intervals.

"The benefits of the UMS include use of the same dosing schedule by patients, physicians, and pharmacists; reduced variability in how the medication is prescribed; reduced variability in how the prescription is interpreted by the pharmacist; improved ability of patients to understand how to correctly take their medications; and improved therapeutic outcome," Dr. Wood said.

According to Michael Wolf, PhD, MPH, co-chair of the ACPF's Medication Labeling Technical Advisory Board, a randomized trial of 500 patients found that understanding of the UMS label was five times greater compared to a typical label.

"Prescription medication container labels need a radical change," said Ruth Parker, MD, FACP, co-chair of the ACPF's Medication Labeling Technical Advisory Board. "Improving drug labels is an issue that sits at the intersection of health literacy and patient safety. The variability of dosing instructions on labels is a source of confusion among patients, which could lead to adverse drug events."

The UMS idea comes in response to a recently released evidence-based ACPF white paper, "Improving Prescription Drug Container Labeling in the United States: A Health Literacy and Medication Safety Initiative," that describes problems with current medication labels and notes that poor patient understanding of labels is prevalent and a significant safety concern.

The white paper, presented to the IOM Roundtable on Health Literacy on October 12, 2007, recommends the following standards for improving patient understanding of prescription medication container labels:
-- Use a UMS to convey and simplify dosage/use instructions.

-- Use explicit text to describe dosage/interval in instructions.

-- Organize label in a patient-centered manner.

-- Include distinguishable front and back sides to the label.

-- When possible, include indication for use.

-- Simplify language, avoiding unfamiliar words/medical jargon.

-- Improve typography, use larger, sans serif font.

-- When applicable, use numeric vs. alphabet characters.

-- Use typographic cues (bolding and highlighting) for patient content


-- Use horizontal text only.

-- Use a standard icon system for signaling and organizing auxiliary

warnings and instructions.

"As the ACP Foundation white paper notes, the lack of universal standards and regulations for drug labels is a root cause of medication error," Dr. Parker said.

The American College of Physicians ( is the largest medical specialty organization and the second-largest physician group in the United States. ACP members include 124,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internists specialize in the prevention, detection, and treatment of illness in adults.

The American College of Physicians Foundation (, incorporated in 1999, supports the mission of ACP and strives to improve the health and welfare of patients and society through initiatives that provide patients with the information they need to understand and manage their health.

SOURCE The American College of Physicians Foundation
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Different method of evaluating the urinary tract system reduces radiation dose
2. Lutheran Senior Services Partners with Silverchair Learning Systems to Enhance Employee Training and Education
3. Exempla Healthcare Contracts For Talismans Quality Donor System
4. Summa Health Systems Akron City Hospital Named Leapfrog Top Hospital for 2007
5. Heartline(R) Fitness Systems Named to Inc. Magazines Inaugural List of the 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies in U.S....
6. University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Complete System-Wide Conversion to Masimo SET Pulse Oximetry Technology
7. Plexus Systems Ranks in Top Third of the 2007 Inc. 5,000 with Three-Year Sales Growth of 226%
8. Document Security Systems (Amex: DMC) Invites You to a Landmark Event
9. Flu Vaccinations Begin on September 29 Maxim Health Systems to Provide 24,000 Flu Shot Clinics Nationwide
10. AtriCure Reports First Human Implant of the Cosgrove-Gillinov Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion System
11. American Heart Association Surgical Supplement Journal Report: Appropriate Hospital Discharge System Can Prevent Future Cardiac Events
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... eReferral system for diagnostic imaging in the Waterloo region. Using the Ocean Platform, ... Medicine tests directly from their electronic medical record (EMR) without the need for ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... of workshops to discuss bioavailability and the need to integrate dose form selection ... in collaboration with OBN, the membership organization supporting and bringing together the UK’s ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 26, 2015 , ... PRMA Plastic ... November 19, 2015, our surgeons performed their 6,000th free flap breast reconstruction surgery! , ... wake up every day excited to rebuild lives and it’s an honor to have ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Pixel Film Studios brings Final ... ProTrailer: Vintage. This newly styled ProTrailer pack comes with 30 all-new vintage-inspired designs, ... giving users limitless opportunities to stylize and create designs quickly and easily, all ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Indosoft Inc., developer and distributor of the ... to improve system efficiency and reliability. , The new Q-Suite 6 platform is based ... system avoids locking itself into a specific piece of software for many key components ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... the addition of the  "2016 Future ... European Therapeutic Drug Monitoring (TDM) Market: ... Intelligence, Emerging Opportunities"  report to their ... has announced the addition of the  ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... of the "Radioimmunoassay Market by Type ... Pharmaceutical Industry, Academics, Clinical Diagnostic Labs), Application ... Forecast to 2020" report to their ... announced the addition of the "Radioimmunoassay ...
(Date:11/25/2015)...  Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN ) today announced the ... the United States (U.S.) Food and ... to Humira ® (adalimumab). Amgen believes this submission ... FDA and represents Amgen,s first BLA submission using the ... M.D., executive vice president of Research and Development at ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: