TONIGHT'S HEALTHCAST SHOWS US HOW EYE-TRACKING TECHNOLOGY HELPED RESEARCHERS GET SOME EYE-OPENING RESULTS.
THEY'RE SUPPOSED TO HELP YOU,BUT IF YOU'RE NOT CAREFUL THEY COULD HURT YOU.
"There are a lot of medication errors that happen in the U.S."
ABOUT ONE AND A HALF MILLION EVERY YEAR IN THE U-S.
SOME BELIEVE A BIG PART OF THE PROBLEM: PEOPLE DON'T READ PRESCRIPTION WARNING LABELS.
"It's derailing the whole process early on."
PSYCHOLOGIST MARK BECKER AND PACKAGING EXPERTS CONDUCTED A STUDY TO TEST THAT THEORY.
USING EYE-TRACKING TECHNOLOGY, THEY GAVE PEOPLE FIVE PRESCRIPTION BOTTLES AND ASKED THEM TO STUDY THE BOTTLES LIKE THEY WOULD AT HOME. THEN ASKED WHAT THEY REMEMBERED.
"People spend a lot of time on that white label."
"Often times, people never even looked at the warning label."
71-PERCENT OF THE PARTICIPANTS OLDER THAN 50 FAILED TO SEE ALL THE BRIGHTLY COLORED LABELS. 73-PERCENT OF YOUNG ADULTS DID READ ALL THE WARNINGS.
"Those that actually spent time on the prescription warning label were able to recall it."
USING BOTTLES FROM THE STUDY, WE DID OUR OWN NON-SCIENTIFIC EXPERIMENT. THESE TWO REVIEWED THE BOTTLES...THEN WE ASKED WHAT THE WARNINGS SAID.
"Good question. I don't know. I looked at the dosage, how many days you take it and what the drug was. I didn't look at the warnings."
"I didn't look at the warnings. I guess I just didn't turn it around and look at that other side. I just looked at the main label."
BECKER AND HIS TEAM WANT PRESCRIPTION BOTTLES OVERHAULED. HE BELIEVES MOVING THE WARNINGS FROM THE SIDE...TO THE FRONT LABEL... WOULD PREVENT A LOT OF ADVERSE DRUG EVENTS PARTICULARLY WITH OLDER PATIENTS.
A SEEMINGLY SIMPLE SOLUTION TO PREVENT A POTENTIAL PRESCRIPTION FOR DISASTER.
THERE ARE NO FEDERAL REGULATIONS FOR PRESCRIPTION BOTTLE LABELING.
EACH STATE SETS ITS OWN. NEW YORK AND CALIFORNIA HAVE ADOPTED NEW REGULATIONS, AND THE U-S PHARMACOPEIAL CONVENTION IS PUSHING FOR NEW STANDARDS FOR EVERY STATE.
A U-S-P OFFICIAL TELLS US MOVING THE WARNING LABEL TO THE FRONT OF THE BOTTLE COULD BE BENEFICIAL, BUT THE U-S-P DOESN'T RECOMMEND THAT IT GO ON THE MAIN WHITE LABEL.
RESEARCH HAS SHOWN PUTTING IT THERE COULD BE OVERWHELMING FOR PATIENTS AND MIGHT CAUSE THEM TO MISS IMPORTANT DOSAGE INFORMATION.
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