english.prescrire.org > Spotlight > Archives : 2010 > Prescrire's Packaging Awards: some improvements in 2009

Spotlight: Archives

Every month, the subjects in Prescrire’s Spotlight.

2010 : 1 | 30 | 60 | 90

Prescrire's Packaging Awards: some improvements in 2009

All too often drug packaging is neglected by pharmaceutical companies and drug regulatory agencies.

Prescrire publishes an annual review of drug packaging, a crucial factor with regard to patient information and a treatment’s safety and convenience. In 2009, most packaging analysed by Prescrire still displayed a lack of quality.

Too many labels are ambiguous or the information is poorly presented. The quality of dosing devices and the safety of multidose bottles are not always reliable. Overall, patient leaflets are clearer but still not very informative. EU labelling provisions, transposed into French law at last, have resulted in improvements: increased use of the INN – the drug’s real name – on the packet. There is more information in Braille. The labelling of some dangerous injectable drugs has improved thanks to the guidelines produced by the French Health Products Safety Agency (Afssaps).

Prescrire's Packaging Awards draw healthcare professionals’ and patients’ attention to the fact that quality packaging is essential for safe and effective treatment, and highlight the risks resulting from poor-quality packaging.

In 2009, several packages showed outstanding features, but none combined all the quality and safety criteria worthy of a Prescrire Packaging Award.

5 Yellow Cards and 3 Red Cards named and shamed poor packaging that represents a potential risk to patients.

©Prescrire April 2010

"2009 Prescrire Packaging Awards" Prescrire Int 2010; 19 (106): 86 (pdf, free).

Download the full review