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Industry considers steps to improve acetaminophen labeling

The American Pharmacists Assn. (APhA) recently convened a stakeholders meeting to discuss new recommendations for the labeling on containers of prescription acetaminophen. The meeting, entitled "A Call to Action: Adopting Best Practices for Prescription Labeling of Acetaminophen-Containing Medicines," was held in Boston on Aug. 27, 2011.

The meeting brought together a broad group of stakeholders interested in patient safety to discuss the implementation of new recommendations for acetaminophen prescription container labeling and ways to improve patient education and communication. The recommendations were released in an earlier white paper from the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP), "NCPDP Recommendations for Improved Prescription Container Labels for Medicines Containing Acetaminophen."

Key areas of discussion for the meeting included:
* Identifying barriers to the complete spelling of all active ingredients, in acetaminophen-containing medicine, on the prescription label;
* Discussing mechanisms to adopt standard concomitant use and liver warning labels that align with the OTC acetaminophen warnings;
* Developing next steps to ensure consistency in warning messaging for patients across all acetaminophen containing medicines;
* Identifying ways to ensure the standard concomitant use and liver warning label will be prioritized to print within the top three warning labels within all pharmacy systems;

* Developing strategies that improve patient communication and education about the risks of acetaminophen misuse.

More than 30 representatives from retail pharmacy organizations, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, national consumer health and advocacy organizations, pharmacy and public health organizations, compendia companies, commercial software vendors, auxiliary warning label companies, managed care representatives and health information technology, standards and safety organizations participated in the discussions.

Source: American Pharmacists Assn.



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