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Same Drug, Different Information

Prescription Drug Pamphlets Not Uniform

A new study states that the leaflets available to consumers at the pharmacy counter about a drug vary at each pharmacy and may not be easy to read and understand. Researchers picked two common drugs-lisinopril and metformin-used to treat hypertension and diabetes, respectively, and looked at leaflets about them. The leaflets ranged from 30 to 2500 words, with the lengthier ones containing all the info the Food and Drug Administration recommends be made available. The wordier ones did contain more information, but most did not meet 80 percent of the “usefulness criteria” researchers developed from FDA standards and formatting issues made finding important information difficult. Kimberlin said this study demonstrates the need for uniform medication information for consumers.

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