Experts Hope a Bottle’s Label Design Can Decrease Prescription Errors

Prescription medications are controlled by the government for good reason. Indeed, many prescription drugs are dangerous substances that are only approved for use under strict conditions for very specific applications. It may be that a prescription drug negatively interacts with other commonly consumed medications, or that the medication itself easily leads to dependency and addiction. The bottom line is that prescription medication can be dangerous, and pharmacists and manufacturers should take all steps necessary to prevent Maryland pharmacy errors.

One of the most important tools pharmacists can use to decrease the chance of a serious or fatal prescription error is to make sure that the label affixed to the prescription is correct and written in plain English so that the patient can understand the directions. According to a recent news report, experts have been studying the impact that label design has on a patient’s likelihood of experiencing an error. The study found that patients are experiencing errors even with properly filled medications due to confusing medication labels.

For example, the article discusses a situation in which a woman was prescribed a patch containing pain medication to help with her arthritis. The label indicated the woman should apply the patch when she feels pain, but it did not specify how many patches to use at one time. The woman’s family later discovered that she had been using the pain patches all over her body, effectively overdosing on the medication contained in the patch.

While the prescription for the patch containing the pain medication was not literally filled in error, the fact that the label did not provide clear instructions created a situation in which the woman thought she was following the directions but was in fact taking too much of the medication.

The article notes that new label-design standards handed down from U.S. Pharmacopoeia suggest making the patient’s name, the drug name (both brand-name and generic), and the strength of the medication on the top of the label in larger writing. Historically, this is where the name of the pharmacy would appear. Additionally, it is encouraged that pharmacists write out the directions for consumption in plain English, avoiding abbreviations that may lead to patient confusion.

Have You Been a Victim of a Pharmacy Error?

If you or a loved one has recently been a victim of a Maryland pharmacy error, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. The dedicated Maryland personal injury and wrongful death attorneys at the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers have extensive experience representing victims and their families in lawsuits brought against negligent pharmacists and the pharmacies that employ them. We provide free consultations to accident victims and their families in which we explain the services we can provide. Call 410-654-3600 to schedule your free consultation with an attorney today. If you decide not to pursue compensation, there is no obligation to continue forward with your case.

More Blog Posts:

As Online Retailer Enters Pharmaceutical Business, Some Are Advocating for Change, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, December 1, 2017.

Court Finds Evidence Insufficient in Recent Pharmacy Error Case, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, December 15, 2017.

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