1. Aschenbrenner, Diane S. MS, APRN, BC


* Because voluntarily dispensed consumer medication information is largely inadequate, the FDA is soliciting public comments and suggestions for improving it.



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Despite a 1996 congressional directive calling for helpful consumer medication information to be included with at least 95% of new prescriptions filled by 2006, only about 75% currently include information that meets the minimum criteria for usefulness as defined by expert and consumer panels. A recent study sponsored by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has revealed that printed consumer medication information voluntarily dispensed by retail pharmacies does not consistently provide easy-to-read, understandable information about medications and their use and risks. "The current voluntary system has failed to provide consumers with the quality information they need in order to use medicines effectively and safely," said Janet Woodcock, MD, director of the FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. The agency therefore is searching for ways to improve the quality of the drug information provided to patients. The study and related materials can be read and comments and suggestions regarding the issue can be posted until June 1, 2009, at


Study finds much of private-sector consumer medication information not consistently useful [press release]. FDA News 2008 Dec 16.