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J Postgrad Med. 2009 Apr-Jun;55(2):104-7. doi: 10.4103/0022-3859.52840.

Clinical information in drug package inserts in India.

Author information

  • Giant Group PLC, 1 New Oxford Street, London, WC1A 1GG, United Kingdom. ymshivkar02@yahoo.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

It is widely recognized that accurate and reliable product information is essential for the safe and effective use of medications. Pharmaceutical companies are the primary source of most drug information, including package inserts. Package inserts are printed leaflets accompanying marketed drug products and contain information approved by the regulatory agencies. Studies on package inserts in India, in 1996, had shown that crucial information was often missing and they lacked uniformity.

AIM:

To assess the presentation and completeness of clinically important information provided in the currently available package inserts in India.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Package inserts accompanying allopathic drug products marketed by pharmaceutical companies in India were collected. These package inserts were analyzed for the content of clinically important information in various sections.

STATISTICAL ANALYSIS:

The results were expressed as absolute numbers and percentages.

RESULTS:

Preliminary analyses revealed that most package inserts did contain information under headings, such as, therapeutic indications, contraindications, undesirable effects, etc., listed in the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules 1945. The findings indicated considerable improvement in package inserts since 1996. However, on critical evaluation it was revealed that clinically important information was not well presented and was often incomplete. Information with regard to pediatric and geriatric use was present in only 44% and 13% of the package inserts, respectively. Only five of the inserts had information on the most frequent adverse drug reactions associated with the drug. Also, information on interactions and overdosage was often missing.

CONCLUSION:

Although the package inserts appear to have improved over the past decade there is still a definite need to further refine the clinical information contained, to minimize the risks to patients. This could be brought about by self-regulation on the part of the industry as well as by updating the relevant guidelines in line with those of developed countries.

PMID:
19550054
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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