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Study Suggests Revamping Drug Labels to Grab Attention

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Study Suggests Revamping Drug Labels to Grab Attention

As a recent contest demonstrated, warning labels are appealing on all types of consumer products. However, when labels are really necessary, are they actually effective?

Prescription drug warning labels provide consumers with information on potential side effects and when users should contact a medical professional. A recent survey at Michigan State University found that individuals who receive new medications are unlikely to reading warnings such as "Do not consume alcohol when taking this medication."

The survey did identify one way to rectify the problem, though. If prescription labels and medication bottles were to undergo a design makeover, users would be more likely to read the essential information and older users would especially benefit.

"Given our results, we are recommending a complete overhaul of the design and labeling of the ubiquitous amber bottles," Laura Bix, associate professor in MSU's School of Packaging, said. "Our initial recommendations would be to move all of the warnings from the colored stickers to the main, white label, which 100 percent of the participants read, or to reposition the warnings so that they can be seen from this vantage point."

Recently, the U.S. Senate approved changes to prescription drug labels to make them more accessible to the visually impaired and blind communities.