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The Prescrire Awards for 2013

The 2013 Prescrire Awards: a yearly round-up from the editors of independent French journal Prescrire

The Prescrire Packaging Awards for 2013
2013 Drug Packaging Review

Drug packaging in 2013 : small changes would reap big benefits


  • Drug packaging is important both in protecting and informing patients. Some improvements were made in 2013, but many of the products examined by Prescrire still had poor-quality or even dangerous packaging.
  • Problem packaging is a major concern for patients who are more vulnerable to adverse effects, particularly children and pregnant women. Several problems were noted with products intended for self-medication (umbrella brands), oral solutions sold with dosing devices, and injectable drugs.
  • Looking back at 20 years of Red Cards that Prescrire has issued to products with dangerous packaging reveals several improvements, but too many dangers persist.
  • Urgent action needs to be taken by regulatory agencies and drug companies: patient leaflets must be more explicit with regard to adverse effects, especially those of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs during pregnancy; accidental ingestion by children must be prevented; and companies must design safer dosing devices. Healthcare professionals and patients must remain vigilant and report all packaging issues to the relevant authorities.

"Drug packaging in 2013 : small changes would reap big benefits" Prescrire Int 2014: 23 (149): 136-139. (Pdf, free)