english.prescrire.org > Spotlight > Archives : 2016 > Prescrire's Drug Packaging Awards for 2015: still too many dangerous flaws

Spotlight: Archives

Every month, the subjects in Prescrire’s Spotlight.

2016 : 1 | 30 | 60

Prescrire's Drug Packaging Awards for 2015: still too many dangerous flaws

Prescrire Packaging AwardsThe annual Packaging Awards by independent French medical journal Prescrire demonstrate that, while solutions do exist, there are still far too many examples of dangerous drug packaging and incomplete patient leaflets.

Prescrire methodically examines between 200 and 300 examples of drug packaging every year. This serves to single out packaging that can be a source of confusion or even danger, and to reward quality packaging. Every aspect of a drug's packaging is analysed for its quality and safety: outer package labelling, blister packs, bottles, syringes, etc.; devices supplied for the preparation or administration of a dose of the drug; child-proof caps or other protective devices; and also the informational and educational value of packaging leaflets as regards the directions for use, adverse effects, etc.

No Packaging Awards were given out for 2015.

But around 20 drug packaging "Red Cards" or "Yellow Cards" were handed out on various grounds: dangerously insufficient information (for leaflets or packages); packaging presenting a risk of error in dose preparation, with potentially serious consequences; packaging that does not protect children from accidental poisoning, especially the absence of a child-proof cap; etc.

In 2015, there were many drugs whose packaging was the source of difficulty or of dangers that are only poorly evaluated. This worrying assessment reflects the lack of attention paid by pharmaceutical companies and regulatory authorities to drug packaging, even though proven solutions are already on the market to ensure safe, high-quality packaging.

©Prescrire 1 February 2016

"The Prescrire Awards 2015" Prescrire Int 2016: 25 (169) 78-81. (pdf, free)


Download the full review
Pdf, free

The Prescrire
Awards for 2015
(February 2016)