Prescription drug warning labels need overhaul: study

02 August 2012

Prescription drug warning labels on medical packaging need to be overhauled because they are failing to attract patient’s attention, according to new research. A study by US-based researchers, published in the journal PLoS, found that these warning labels often carry information about drug interactions or dosage information.
The study found that consumers, particularly older ones, often overlook prescription drug warning labels in part because the labels fail to attract attention. Prescription drug warning labels are normally small and colourful in the US. They contain warning statements such as, ‘Do not consume alcohol while taking this medication’ or information about routes of administration such as ‘For external use only’. Experts in packaging and psychology found that prescription drug warning labels fail to capture patients’ attention, impairing the communication of important safety information (PN International Bulletin, 27 July 2012).