That prescription-drug info from the pharmacy can fall short
The LA Times has reported that the legally required type of medical information given out by pharmacies is not doing the job of communciating risk.
Researchers at the University of Florida found shortcomings in the written information for on “directions for use” and “comprehensibility/legibility”.
They wrote: “Many leaflets failed to meet the minimum requirements, such as provision of a complete list of absolute contraindications, and more than half lacked specific directions that would allow patients to manage problems. Because CMI [consumer medical information] was the sole written information dispensed, some patients had no information about the risk of lactic acidosis associated with metformin or related warning signs or action steps. The high reading level required to comprehend the presented information and the inadequate formatting suggest additional shortcomings.”
Drugstores are for ‘One-Document Solution’ for patient information
The National Association of Chain Drug Stores says pharmacy and consumer groups should collaborate with the government to develop a “one-document solution” for information provided to patients regarding prescription drugs.
NACDS submitted its letter in response to an August 9, 2010, article in the newspaper that was critical of such information. NACDS President and Chief Executive Officer Steven C. Anderson says:
“Pharmacy is working with the government to help provide enhanced user-friendly information to patients about their prescription drugs. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores submitted a Citizen Petition to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in June 2008. Seven additional organizations, including other pharmacy and consumer groups, joined in the petition.
“The petition requests FDA guidance describing the parameters for a voluntary, FDA-approved, concise, plain-language document for patients. Such a format could consolidate and replace the multiple written communications pharmacies must now distribute to patients.
“This ‘one-document solution’ could harmonize multiple documents that arise from different FDA-imposed legal requirements or information interpretations, and from different offices and constituencies within FDA.
The Los Angeles Times article is available by clicking here http://www.latimes.com/health/boostershots/la-heb-prescription-information-20100809,0,3840303,print.story