Prescription Labels Geared Toward Pharmacies, Not Patients

A recent article in the Archive of Internal Medicine reported on a study of medication container labels. Basically, they had prescriptions for four commonly used medications filled in six different pharmacies in four cities. Researchers then evaluated the characteristics of the format and content of the mail label and auxiliary stickers.  The findings: the pharmacy name or logo was the most prominent item on 84% of the labels and the font size was on average twice as big as the warning and instruction stickers (13.6 to 6.5 point). How does this make sense?  People are all worried about television ads being cheerful when they are talking about the possible side effects of drugs, while the warnings on containers of actual drugs people are going to take are miniscule? What is further puzzling is the fact that none of the information on the label is standard. Depending on where you live and what pharmacy you go to, you will get different information on the label.  I realize there is usually warning information contained in auxiliary leaflets (stapled to the outer package or inside the containers) and doctors and pharmacists should personally provide this information, but many times this information is forgotten or thrown away. People don't usually throw the container away. Would it hurt to have a smaller pharmacy logo and more relevant information and warnings on the container?  BS