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FDA gives thumbs-up to redesigned labels for some Merck meds

Agency commends Merck’s efforts to reduce pharmacy selection errors. The company’s Label Standardization Projects includes revisions for 34 container labels for 16 oral solid-dose drugs.


Add pharmacy selection errors, a major pharmaceutical manufacturer, labels, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and it may well sound like an alarming recipe. But that’s not the case this time.

In fact, in a June 10 announcement, the FDA announced the “approval of Merck’s redesigned drug container labels that include a new standardized format to improve readability and provide better information on product and strength differentiation.”

Janet Woodcock, M.D., and director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER), said, “We commend Merck for their efforts. This was no small undertaking, and we are hopeful that Merck’s new standardized labels will aid in reducing pharmacy selection errors.” FDA’s release says Merck’s Label Standardization Project includes the revision of 34 container labels for 16 solid oral drugs regulated by CDER.

“Merck appreciates the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's recognition of our efforts to create new standardized product packaging for several of our medicines,” according to an online report on Merck’s Web site. “These changes to the packaging of several medicines were made by Merck as a result of comprehensive research conducted directly with pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to understand how the company could help them to further support the accuracy of medication dispensing within the pharmacy.”

"Efforts such as this are a part of Merck's overall commitment to help people be well," said Michael Rosenblatt, M.D., and chief medical officer for Merck. "We look forward to continuing to work with regulatory agencies and healthcare professionals to implement this new design and help bring the best possible care to patients."

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