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Merck Hopes Revised Medication Labels will Curb Dosing Errors

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Merck Hopes Revised Medication Labels will Curb Dosing Errors

Federal officials have approved a redesign for several prescription labels in an effort to reduce the number of mistakes that patients make when taking them. Among the drugs that will feature new labels are Zocor, Propecia, Januvia and more than a dozen other medications manufactured by the Merck brand.

Last week, the Food and Drug Administration announced a new standardized format for medications that aims to provide clarity on the product and strength of medications. The move came just after Merck proposed changes to 16 of its prescription medication labels.

"The new label design standardization was approved at the end of a week in which the FDA announced new warnings about potential health problems with several of the Merck drugs included in the project, including Zocor, Propecia and Proscar," the website About Lawsuits noted. "However, there is no indication that the timing of the announcements were related."

According to Bloomberg Businessweek, the label changes have been three years in the making. Merck teamed up with several divisions of the FDA to alter the label and packaging in order to stem the number of patients who were taking improper dosages.