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Identifying a potential source of labeling errors

You and every other person in The Woodlands that has been prescribed a medication typically has the same expectation: You present to the pharmacy, pick up your medication, take it upon returning home and anticipate immediately feeling better. In reality, the process may not always play out like that, but for the most part, the drug tends to be beneficial. However, for many of those that we here at The Leigh Law Firm have worked with, the medications they have taken have actually caused harm. When this happens, the question then becomes whether the drug was defective, or was it misused? 

Not all misuse is intentional. You may be following the recommended dosing guidelines that come with your medication and still be misusing it. That is because labeling errors remain a huge problem facing both the medical and pharmaceutical industries. A medication is typically touched by quite a few hands before it is dispensed, going from the manufacturer, the supplier and the pharmacist before reaching you. Labeling errors can occur at any step of that process. 

Recent research suggests that one of the steps (the drug being dispensed by a pharmacist) may play a significant role in unintentional medication misuse. Study data shared in the Journal of Young Pharmacists shows that information printed on medication labels by pharmacies is typically emphasized in the following order of importance: 

  • The pharmacy name or logo 
  • Medication instructions 
  • Medication name
  • Warning instructions

Labeling elements such as font size, color, highlighting and boldfacing seemed to show that pharmacies value the information that is important to them over drug-specific warnings and instructions. This could potentially lead you to dismiss that information due to it not being emphasized on the label. 

More information on identifying the cause of medication errors can be found here on our site. 

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