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Instruction FAIL

Below is a blurb from the ASHP Daily Briefing. The last line is something that just shouldn’t be happening.

Many Patients Struggle With “Take as Directed” Prescription Label Instructions.

The New York Times (7/5, D6, Span, Subscription Publication) reports that “patients must fight their way through a thicket of often conflicting instructions when taking more than one drug.” Recently, Dr. Michael Wolf of Northwestern University and colleagues interviewed 464 patients over age 55, at several Illinois medical practices. The researchers “presented each patient with seven typical amber pill bottles with dosing instructions on the labels.” When the patients were asked to define “how they would take the drugs over 24 hours,” less than “15 percent succeeded in dosing in the most efficient way.” Dr. Wolf said the need for “more simplified dosing instructions has been demonstrated in several such studies, but change has been slow to come” because of differing ways state’s regulate pharmacies. For now, Dr. Wolf “advises patients to regularly review the medications they take with a physician.”

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