Friday, March 6, 2009

Spelling Out a Drug’s Risks and Benefits

Patricia Van Arnum of PharmTech Talk adds her thoughts on the results of a study by Steven Woloshin and Lisa Schwartz in which the researchers showed that a drug-fact box improved US consumers' knowledge of prescription drugs’ benefits and side effects. Van Arnum thinks that a better solution (than print advertising) would be to require physicians to provide patients with drug-fact boxes at the time of dispensing prescription drugs, so that a patient could review the information before deciding to take a drug and filling a prescription. She thinks that this practice would allow patients to easily review drug information and to discuss any concerns with their doctors and to give them access to information before reviewing product insert information after a prescription is filled, which is typically the first time that a patient may review drug information in any detail. So what do you think? Should drug information be solely on print, solely in the doc's office or both?

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