Experts Push to Decrease Prescription Errors by Changing Labeling and Packaging

Prescription errors can have devastating consequences for Maryland patients. These types of errors can be caused by a number of different issues, including writing the wrong prescription and dispensing the wrong medication. Some of these errors may be reduced by changing something as simple as the packaging of the medication. Some drugs have similar names, and other bottles look alike, increasing the likelihood of error. Experts are pushing companies to make changes in cases of confusing labeling, naming, and packaging.

In a prescription error case, an individual must show that the defendant was negligent in doing or failing to do something by failing to meet the standard of care required. This might include failing to properly read the label on a medication bottle. However, industry experts are working to help medical professionals avoid such errors.

FDA Guidance Seeks to Reduce Errors Due to Labeling and Packaging

Look-alike and sound-alike medications increase the likelihood of prescription errors, according to one news source. One report found that 33 percent of all medication errors and 30 percent of deaths from medication errors resulted from issues with medication labeling and packaging.

In order to improve patient safety and prevent medication errors, the Federal Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Drug Evaluation and Research has created guidelines to assist the pharmaceutical industry in making packaging and labeling easier to identify and creating proprietary names. The goal is to improve patient safety by reducing medication errors. The FDA’s Division of Medication Error Prevention and Analysis looks at proposed names, labels, and packaging. It also engages in surveillance after a drug is marketed to determine if regulation is needed.

The president of the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) explained that some companies have a “highly stylized label” that disguises the name of the drug and its strength behind its designs. For that reason, the FDA requires that the most important information be located on the front of the package and with enough white space to be read easily. It also ensures that the product strength stands out and that nonstandard abbreviations are avoided.

In addition, pharmacists also have a responsibility to report safety issues involving labeling, naming, and packaging. The ISMP president stated there have been “hundreds, if not thousands, of changes” that resulted from pharmacists and nurses reporting issues. The organization counts on individuals bringing issues to their attention in order to address the problems.

Do You Have a Prescription Error Claim?

If you believe you or a loved one has been injured due to a prescription error, you may have grounds to pursue a claim for compensation. At Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers, our attorneys have nearly two decades of experience representing victims of prescription errors, car accidents, and other negligent conduct throughout the Maryland and Washington, D.C. area. We work closely with medical experts to assess your claim and aggressively pursue the compensation you deserve. Contact us at 800-654-1949 or 410-654-3600 or use our online form to receive a free consultation.

More Blog Posts:

Study Shows E-Prescribing Has Decreased Pharmacy Error Rates, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, October 9, 2017.

Pharmacy Errors Involving High-Alert Medications, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, October 23, 2017.

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