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J Am Pharm Assoc (2003). 2005 Jul-Aug;45(4):443-51.

Expert and consumer evaluation of patient medication leaflets provided in U.S. pharmacies.

Author information

1
School of Pharmacy, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 777 Highland Ave., Madison, WI 53705, USA. blsvarstad@pharmacy.wisc.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Evaluate the distribution and quality of patient medication leaflets provided in U.S. pharmacies.

DESIGN:

Observational.

SETTING:

United States.

PARTICIPANTS:

384 randomly selected community pharmacies in 44 states.

INTERVENTIONS:

Professional shoppers (acting as patients) presented four new prescriptions to study pharmacies.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Medication leaflets obtained by shoppers were evaluated by expert and consumer raters using criteria specified in federal law mandating distribution of useful written information to 95% of individuals receiving new prescriptions by 2006.

RESULTS:

Leaflets were provided by pharmacies with 89% of 1,536 prescriptions presented by professional shoppers posing as patients. Leaflet quality varied: 95% of leaflets received high ratings on accuracy, but only 19% received high ratings on the specificity of directions. Fewer than 10% of all leaflets met quality criteria regarding contraindications, precautions, and how to avoid harm. One fourth of all leaflets had poor print size, according to the shoppers.

CONCLUSION:

Additional efforts are needed to meet federally mandated information distribution and quality goals by 2006.

PMID:
16128499
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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