english.prescrire.org > Spotlight > Archives : 2017 > The Prescrire Drug Packaging Awards for 2018: no winners and a lot of losers

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The Prescrire Drug Packaging Awards for 2018: no winners and a lot of losers

Palmarès du conditionnement de Prescrire The independent French medical journal Prescrire held its annual awards ceremony in Paris on 31 January. There were no Packaging Awards this year, whereas 25 "Yellow Cards" or "Red Cards" were handed out for substandard or dangerous packaging.

In 2018, Prescrire examined the packaging of 220 pharmaceutical products. All aspects of the packaging were examined to determine their quality and safety, including  the legibility of international nonproprietary names (INNs), which is often hampered by the commercial content which dominates the labelling (brand names, logos, graphic identity, fanciful illustrations), the differentiation of dose strengths within a product range; the clarity of the information that is presented as tables, dosing schedules or pictograms; the adequacy of the dosing devices that are supplied to prepare and administer the drug; the measures taken to protect children from gaining access to a drug without their carers' knowledge; and the quality of the patient leaflet as regards dose preparation, adverse effects, and the situations and patient groups in which the drug poses a risk.

The Prescrire Packaging Awards are based on evaluations carried out by the Prescrire Editorial Staff and by Prescrire's specialised Packaging Working Group, in total independence, without any involvement by packaging manufacturers.

In 2018, none of the drug packaging examined met all the safety and quality standards required to earn a Prescrire Packaging Award. Our evaluations of drug packaging in 2018 revealed a string of flaws and dangers, as illustrated by the 25 Red or Yellow Cards that were handed out. In too many cases, the labelling favoured brand names and company logos rather than pertinent information on the correct use of the drug and the prevention of errors; too many drugs are produced without taking overall account of the way the drug will be used, especially the way that doses are prepared and administered. Most drugs are poorly secured in terms of the risk of poisoning children. Drug leaflets are not sufficiently informative.

> The Prescrire Awards for 2018 (Free)

©Prescrire 1 February 2019

"The Prescrire Awards for 2018" Prescrire Int 2019; 28 (202): 78-82. (Pdf, free)

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Download the full review.
Pdf, free
The Prescrire
Awards for 2018
(January 2019)