Will Standardized Drug Labels Reduce Pharmacy Errors?
Pharmacy error lawyer, I know about the damaging effects of taking the wrong medication. In some cases, it is a doctor’s medication mistake. In others it is the pharmacy’s fault.
Business Week reported recently that to prevent some pharmacy dispensing errors
, Merck, manufacturer of drugs like Propecia, Cipro, and Nasonex, has redesigned the labels for their drug containers. When you fill a prescription at your local drugstore, the medication is dispensed from these larger bottles into the smaller ones you take home
The new labels have a standardized format making them easier to read. In addition they contain more information about the medication printed on the bottles. This effort is important because many pharmacies hire staff with less training than a traditional pharmacist. These pharmacy assistants are often responsible for physically filling prescriptions. Standardized and easier to understand labels should theoretically reduce mis-filled prescriptions because the lesser trained pharmacy assistants will make fewer prescription interpretation errors. Fewer interpretation errors should mean they will put thewrong medicine into the hands of consumers less often. We will have to wait and see if these efforts help.
Of course the new drug labels will also not have any effect on some other pharmacy errors such as providing incorrect dosing information or giving the wrong instructions on how and when to take the medication.