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The Prescrire Awards for 2023

Prescrire Packaging Awards for 2023

The Prescrire Packaging Awards for 2023

When Prescrire evaluates a drug's harm-benefit balance or its ease of use, its packaging is an important factor to take into consideration. Every aspect of the packaging is analysed for its impact on quality of care and the safety of users and the people around them. We examine in particular:

  • Whether international nonproprietary names (INNs) are clearly legible, and whether different dose strengths of the same drug are easily distinguishable;
  • The clarity of any information presented graphically, such as diagrams, dosing schedules, symbols or pictograms;
  • The devices provided for preparing, measuring and administering doses;
  • The risk that someone other than the patient, especially children, could ingest the drug, unnoticed by their carers;
  • The quality and clarity of the information provided in the patient leaflet, especially information on how to use the product, its adverse effects, and the situations and patient groups in which the drug poses a particular risk, as well as any information made available through a QR code on the box.

The 2023 Prescrire Packaging Awards pertain to the packaging of drugs evaluated in our French edition in 2023.

In 2023, two products have earned an award for their particularly well-designed packaging:

Le Palmarès des Médicaments
  • Dexliq° oral solution (dexamethasone) - Theravia (French authorisation): packaging well­-designed for the oral administration of high doses of dexamethasone;
  • Instanyl° DoseGuard° nasal spray solution (fentanyl) - Takeda (EU centralised procedure): packaging that made intranasal fentanyl safer to use.

39 drugs authorised in the European Union or France in poor­-quality packaging received a "Red Card" for various reasons:

  • Dry oral forms supplied in multidose bottles: difficult to identify the drug once removed from the bottle, and risk of accidental drug exposure, especially in children;
  • Oral liquid forms supplied in bottles with no child-proof cap: risk of accidental drug exposure, especially in children;
  • An oral solution supplied in a dropper container, with a recommended dose of up to 60 drops: risk of wrong-dose errors;
  • Look-alike packaging: risk of wrong-drug errors;
  • Insufficient prominence given to INNs: difficult to identify the drug substance(s) present;
  • Incomplete information concerning risks during pregnancy: risk of embryotoxicity, fetotoxicity or pregnancy complications.

Download the full article:

 FREE  "The Prescrire Awards for 2023" Prescrire Int 2024; 33 (259): 132-134. Free.


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