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The Prescrire Awards for 2017: one winner for Drug Packaging

Palmarès du conditionnement de Prescrire The independent French medical journal held its annual awards ceremony in Paris. One Drug Packaging Award was announced, while 3 "Yellow Cards" and some 20 "Red Cards" were handed out for substandard or dangerous packaging.

Every year, the independent French medical journal Prescrire carries out systematic analyses of the packaging of some 200-300 drugs.  Every aspect of the packaging is examined to determine its quality and safety, including: the legibility of international nonproprietary names (INNs), whether different dose strengths are easily distinguishable, and any information presented graphically, such as dosing schedules and pictograms; any dosing devices supplied to prepare and administer the required doses; the measures taken to protect children from poisoning; and the quality and clarity of the information provided in the patient leaflet on dose preparation, adverse effects, and the situations and patient groups in which the drug poses a risk.

The Prescrire Packaging Awards are based on independent evaluations conducted by Prescrire's Editorial Staff and Packaging Working Group, free from any influence from packaging manufacturers.

A 2017 Packaging Award was given to emtricitabine + tenofovir disoproxil Mylan° tablets, for:

  • the prominence given on the box to the information that is useful in patient care and helps prevent medication errors, i.e. the international nonproprietary names (INNs) and dose strengths; and
  • the pre-cut unit-dose blister packs, where each detachable blister pocket is labelled with the INNs, dose strengths, batch number, and expiry date, which ensure that tablets remain identifiable, traceable and protected in many situations.

Three "Yellow Cards" were handed out, all in relation to the inadequate display on the box of the INN.

20 "Red Cards" were handed out for a variety of reasons: dangerously limited information in the labelling or patient leaflet, including umbrella brands, packaging that poses a risk of dosing errors and packaging that poses a risk of poisoning in children who ingest the contents unnoticed by their carers.

> The Prescrire Awards for 2017 (Free)

©Prescrire 25 January 2018

"The Prescrire Awards for 2017" Prescrire Int 2018; 27 (191): 79-83. (Pdf, free)

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The Prescrire
Awards for 2017
(January 2018)