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Jessica Smagacz
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FDA Study Finds Private-Sector Consumer Medication Information not Consistently Useful

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FDA released the results of a study today finding printed consumer medication information voluntarily provided by retail pharmacies with new prescriptions does not provide user friendly, easy to read information about the use and risks of medications.

The study is called Expert and Consumer Evaluation of Consumer Medication Information. It showed that most consumers received consumer medication information with new prescriptions but only 75 percent of the information received met the minimum criteria for usefulness as FDA says was defined by a panel of stakeholders.

Apparently in 1996, Congress called for a total of 95 percent of new prescriptions to have consumer medication information by 2006.

What should the consumer medication information contain?

FDA says that it should contain the drug name and uses, how to monitor for improvement for the condition being treated, serious symptoms or frequent adverse reactions, general information, and situations where the medication will not be useful.

FDA plans on holding a public meeting to discuss the study’s findings in the beginning of 2009. To learn more information regarding this topic, please see the FDA report.