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Larissa Doucette

Resolution No. 108-1-12
Title: Uniform Outpatient Pharmacy Prescription Container Labels Designed for Patient Safety
Action: Pass

Whereas, medication misuse has resulted in more than one million adverse drug events per year in the United States; and

Whereas, patients’ best source (and often only source) of information regarding the medications they have been prescribed is on the prescription container label; and

Whereas, other written information and oral counseling should be available, the prescription container label must fulfill the professional obligations of the prescriber and pharmacist; and

Whereas, these obligations include giving the patient the most essential information needed to understand how to safely and appropriately use the medication and to adhere to the prescribed medication regimen; and

Whereas, the purpose of the prescription label is for the patient, not the regulator or auditor; as such, the only information needed on the label is information the patient needs to take the medication correctly; and

Whereas, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP), US Pharmacopeial Convention and the Institute for Safe Medication Practices have researched, identified, and agreed upon elements that do need to be on the patient prescription container label to ensure patient safety; and

Whereas, the elimination of data elements not required for patient safety will increase readability and understanding by allocating more white space, increasing the ability to use larger font size, providing more space so as not to truncate medication names or directions, and affording space for a description of the medication on the patient’s medication container label; and

Whereas, these various labeling standards could potentially create a risk for patient confusion due to various jurisdictions requiring differing label formats, thus defeating the goal of a uniform, patient centered label;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that NABP support the state boards of pharmacy in their efforts to require a standardized prescription container label recommended by the 2008-2009 NABP Task Force on Uniform Prescription Labeling Requirements, the elements of which are found in the Model State Pharmacy Act and Model Rules of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.

(Resolution passed at the NABP 108th Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA)