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Proposed Prescription Label Changes Could Make Medications Easier to Understand

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Proposed Prescription Label Changes Could Make Medications Easier to Understand

The U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention has proposed changes to prescription labels, aiming to clear up confusion among consumers and make the labels easier to understand. It is extending the opportunity to comment on the proposed changes to the public via a dedicated email address.

Should the suggestions pass, labels will contain clearer instructions on when and how to take medication, such as "take two tablets in the morning and two tablets in the evening," rather than "take two tablets twice daily," according to The Wall Street Journal.

"One key component of healthcare information is prescription container labels, which are a patient's best, and often only, source of instruction and background necessary for safely and appropriately using a medication," said Roger L. Williams, M.D., chief executive officer at USP.

If approved, labels would also contain the medication's purpose in more plain language. Labels would be easier to read, so that consumers would no longer have to rotate containers to read them, and supplemented information may appear in smaller print so as not to distract patients.