Performance Improvement 2001. Evaluation of Written Prescription Information Provided in Community Pharmacies: An 8-State Study


This evaluation assessed the quality of written prescription information provided voluntarily to individuals receiving new prescription medicines in community pharmacies. The study tested whether fictitious patients as observers were given any written prescription information by pharmacists whom they asked for drugs prescribed (in addition to the labels and stickers on their medication containers). The quality of written information was also assessed. This pilot study produced encouraging results for consumers: (1) nearly 87% of new prescriptions were dispensed with some written prescription information in addition to the label and stickers on the medication container, suggesting that the provision of written prescription information is becoming a routine practice in community pharmacies; and (2) expert panelists found that most written information sheets were accurate and unbiased in content and tone. They included necessary details for monitoring and interpreting adverse reactions and appeared legible and comprehensible to consumers. The study raised several concerns: most patient information was rated low on identifying precautions, their significance, and how to avoid them, and storage instructions and general information. The study will be repeated nationally in 2001 and the results will be used to identify areas for improvement in consumer communication of prescription information.

AGENCY SPONSOR: Center for Drug Evaluation and Research

FEDERAL CONTACT: Mary Bender, 202-205-5592

PIC ID: 7496

PERFORMER: University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI