Group calls for concise, user-friendly drug info

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Prescription drug information for patients should be confined to a single, concise document, according to a National Consumers League (NCL) petition filed with the FDA.

“Patients [filling prescriptions] do not need to receive multiple and lengthy pieces of paper that are often redundant and may even contain conflicting information,” said Sally Greenberg, executive director of the NCL, in a statement.

The petition, signed by several national healthcare organizations such as the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, the National Community Pharmacists Association, the National Alliance for Caregivers, and others, suggests that an “FDA-approved, concise, plain language, single patient document” could supplant the myriad patient package inserts, pharmacy medication guides, consumer medication information documents and full professional labeling.

The current information supplied to patients by pharmacies is the result of several FDA legal requirements, or varied, informal interpretations of said requirements, according to the NCL. Some of the regulations are antiquated, or weren't intended for consumers.

“It is important that patients receive clear, useful information in plain language with their prescription drugs,” said Greenberg in the statement. “They should be able to talk to their pharmacist about potential interactions, how to take their medicine and what side effects to expect."

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