The Perfect Prescription: How the Pill Bottle Was Remade -- Sensibly and Beautifully

April 28, 2005
The standard amber-colored pharmacy pill bottle has changed little since its introduction more than 50 years ago. However, on May 1 the ClearRx prescription-packaging system -- which the U.S. Surgeon General has lauded -- will debut at Target pharmacies, thanks to a 29-year-old graphic designer.
U.S. Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona issued a statement April 28 applauding the imminent adoption by Target Corp. pharmacies of the ClearRx prescription drug bottle. (A feature article from New York Metro describing the new bottle and its genesis may be accessed by clicking here.) Dr. Carmona said: I would like to congratulate Target on its leadership in designing a new, more easily understandable prescription drug bottle. The new design is a simple, yet important step in improving the health literacy of all Americans. Pharmacists, doctors, nurses, and other health professionals need to work together to ensure that patients are receiving the health information they need in a manner they can use.

I thank Deborah Adler for pursuing this redesign on behalf of her grandparents Helen and Herman. Her commitment could potentially help millions of people across the country be safer and healthier as they take their prescription medications.

I commend Target and Deborah for their efforts.
An HHS spokesperson remarked that Dr. Carmona has worked for the past two years to make health information more accessible to the public, issuing reports on smoking as well as bone health and osteoporosis that were written at a sixth-grade reading level. He said