FDA looks to simplify drug info packets

NEW YORK — The Food and Drug Administration is working on creating new and simplified drug information sheets for consumers to replace the multipage and sometimes labyrinthine packets supplied with drugs at retail pharmacies, according to published reports.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the agency was testing the information sheets while the U.S. Pharmacopeia Convention was developing a new standard for drug labels.

The large inserts — called consumer medication information, or CMI — that accompany drugs have long been cited as a problem for consumers because of their tiny print and the confusing way they present drug indications, guidelines and warnings.

In 2008, the FDA conducted a study that found that while 94% of shoppers received CMI with their prescriptions, about 75% of CMI met the “minimum criteria for usefulness,” a number that the agency said fell short of its goal of having 95% of prescriptions accompanied by useful CMI by 2006.

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