Accurate Pharmaceutical Labels

Whether they are reading medication labels, filling prescriptions or labeling IV tubing, healthcare professionals know that the right information is crucial. But did you know that inaccurate labeling is a key factor in many medication errors?

In fact, labeling errors are a leading cause of drug recalls and financial losses. In the United States, clinically important drug recalls occur once every month and cost pharmaceutical companies millions of dollars in lost sales.

In order to help avoid these problems, the FDA requires all drugs to be Pharmaceutical Labels accurately and clearly with information that is both safe and beneficial to consumers. This includes warnings on possible side effects, maximum dosage, and drug interaction with other products. In addition, all pharmaceuticals must be packaged properly to ensure patient safety.

The Importance of Accurate Pharmaceutical Labels

Accurate labeling is also critical for pharmacies and their employees. A label that is easy to read and understand can prevent drug storage mistakes, such as storing a temperature-sensitive drug incorrectly or accidentally exposing it to the wrong environment. It can also reduce medication administration time and improve efficiency at the pharmacy counter.

Customized labels can provide patients with information on their specific medications that they may not have access to otherwise. This can include language options, such as prints in a patient’s native language and directions for use that are tailored to their unique circumstances.

Regulatory agencies around the world are working to implement eLabeling, an electronic version of the traditional paper-based package insert and patient information leaflet. These documents are distributed electronically through a QR code, barcode or URL on the product carton. These labels can be viewed and downloaded by doctors, pharmacists and other healthcare providers.

A number of challenges are associated with eLabeling, including the need for consistent content across markets and a lack of scalability for a system that can support frequent updates to label content. Nevertheless, eLabeling is becoming more common and is expected to be used by more and more prescribers.

A recent study by the American College of Rheumatology revealed that many drugs, especially those used in arthritis and other joint-related diseases, lack updated labeling. This translates to missing information that can affect insurance coverage.

According to the Institute of Medicine, poor label design can be a major source of medication errors in healthcare. These errors include missed doses, incorrect dosage forms, and wrong route or timing of the medication.

While these errors are costly, they can be avoided through proper labeling. To ensure accurate labeling, healthcare professionals must have an efficient proofreading and reviewing process in place.

Using an eco-friendly approach when it comes to pharma labels and packaging is increasingly important, particularly in light of a growing awareness of environmental contamination. Choosing materials that are low migration and can withstand the stress of distribution, storage and transport is one way that pharmaceutical labels can be more environmentally friendly.

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