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Healthcare Packaging Perspective: Patient responsibility

Time for patients (and physicians) to heed medication label warnings.

Jim Butschli, Healthcare Packaging Editor
Jim Butschli, Healthcare Packaging Editor

FDA’s recent announcement strengthening its warning of heart attack and stroke risk for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDS, will hopefully alert patients about their possible dangers.

Sure it’s time-consuming to read any script’s lengthy, often complex instructions, but it could be lifesaving. On April 22, I drove myself to the local hospital ER, barely able to swallow or breath. I don’t recall my trusted physician telling me about the complication—Angiodema—when he prescribed the (ACE) inhibitor for me many years ago. Turns out, the prescription information did carry an appropriate warning, which I never read prior to my ER visit.

Pharmaceutical manufacturers and associations invest big bucks into patient education and adherence, with packaging playing a larger role. Despite those efforts, loss of life and financial expenses stemming from the lack of patient adherence remain staggering. As I look into the mirror, I implore patients to read and learn everything you can about your script, especially its warnings and side effects details.

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