07 Apr Pharmacy and Dispenser Label Solutions
The rise in prescriptions has soared over the years reaching a staggering 1.01 billion in England alone from 2016-17. Over the past year, we have seen a small decline in this number but not significantly, with still over a billion prescriptions being made out to people in 2018/19. With the demand for dispensed items increasing it is imperative that labels on prescriptions clearly outline critical information to users- protecting both pharmacists and patients.
A study administered by the NHS found that out of the 8,000 people surveyed in the UK, 1 quarter of the group was on at least 3 different drugs and millions of pensioners on a least 5 different types of medication. In addition, the survey uncovered that in total around 48 percent of people are on medication and the average number of prescription items per head was 20, an increase from 6 in 2006. Such an alarming figure raises some important questions, but it also puts a significant amount of pressure on our NHS to ensure prescriptions are dispensed accurately and avoid mistakes.
To safeguard people from misinformation the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) was established in 2003 imposing strict guidelines for the labelling and packaging of pharmaceutical drugs. However, due to the increasing demand for prescription drugs, it is becoming more difficult for pharmacists to adhere to the regulations and advice whilst ensuring information is correct to everyone’s specific medical requirements.
In 2010 a study found that medication errors occur regularly and that poor labelling of dispensed prescriptions was cited to be a potential cause. The fundamental problem with labelling that this study uncovered is that the instructions for administering medication were not clear and vital information was too small for the reader. Furthermore, common complaints from hospitals and pharmacies across the UK have found that the labels they received can easily peel off items such as bags and baskets often used in hospital environments. This poses serious issues for patients and the NHS teams which need the information, in order to correctly administer and handle medication.
When dispensing medication to someone it is essential that the label displays the following information:
- Patient’s prescription
- Patients name and address
- Dispensing date
- Medicine name and details
- Cautions and warnings
The label of prescribed medicine should clearly state the instructions that the healthcare professional has given to the patient, such as how to administer the medicine and the duration of the treatment. Such vital information and essential criteria mean that your label provider must be a reputable supplier in the sector and can meet the guidelines and recommendations set by the NHS.
At RGS Labels, we have 25 years of experience in delivering labels to organisations across multiple industries such as manufacturing, healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors. Over the years we have grown and developed into the UK’s leading manufacturer of standard and specialist label solutions and have achieved this by focusing on our guiding principles: quality, service, and innovation. To overcome the challenges that are facing pharmacies across the UK, we have developed a multi-page label solution that enables labels to be noticed, read and understood. Our labels are plain white so pharmacies can print on the specific and critical information for individual needs and they can be applied to multiple surfaces.
Ensuring that patients completely understand the advice given by the pharmacist is paramount and medical packaging needs to be able to reflect this to avoid any confusion and misunderstandings. We have seen that the number of dispensed items is continuously rising and is predicted to continue doing so. Therefore, the importance to support pharmacies across the UK and help them ensure they dispense the correct medication and advice both accurately and effectively has never been greater.
Initially, it may seem inconsequential to consider the ramifications of not prioritising labelling, however, it is imperative for pharmacists to ensure that the medical advice instructed on the label is specified correctly. The studies conducted highlighted the importance of making your labelling a number one priority in the pharmacy.
So, if your hospital pharmacy needs a labelling solution that can ensure quality and compliance then rest fully assured that our service will deliver. Contact us today for an experienced supplier in the healthcare industry who can accommodate your labelling needs.