Prescription drug labeling medication errors: a big deal for pharmacists.
ABSTRACT Today, in the health care profession, all types of medication errors including missed dose, wrong dosage forms, wrong time interval, wrong route, etc., are a big deal for better patient care. Today, problems related to medications are common in the healthcare profession, and are responsible for significant morbidity, mortality, and cost. Several recent studies have demonstrated that patients frequently have difficulty in reading and understanding medication labels. According to the Institute of Medicine report, "Preventing Medication Errors", cited poor labeling as a central cause for medication errors in the USA. Evidence suggests that specific content and format of prescription drug labels facilitate communication with and comprehension by patients. Efforts to improve the labels should be guided by such evidence, although an additional study assessing the influence of label design on medication-taking behavior and health outcomes is needed. Several policy options exist to require minimal standards to optimize medical therapy, particularly in light of the new Medicare prescription drug benefit.