Recommendations for Healthcare Professionals to Reduce Medication Errors Associated with the Label, Labeling, and Packaging of Pharmaceutical (Drug) Products and Related Devices

These recommendations primarily apply to prescribers, pharmacists, and nurses.

The Council encourages healthcare professionals to routinely educate patients and families/caregivers with the goal of enhancing understanding and proper use of their medications and related devices. Furthermore, the Council encourages healthcare professionals to regularly participate in training programs about medication error prevention and to actively participate in the investigation when medication errors occur.

In addition, the Council makes the following recommendations to healthcare professionals to reduce medication errors associated with the label, labeling, and packaging of drug products and related devices:

  1. The Council encourages collaboration among healthcare professionals, healthcare organizations, and patients and families/caregivers, the pharmaceutical industry, standard-setters, and regulators to facilitate the design of drug product packaging and labeling to help minimize errors.
  2. The Council encourages healthcare professionals to take an active role in reviewing and commenting on proposed federal regulations (i.e., via Federal Register notices, agency draft guidances, etc.) and USP standards (i.e., Pharmacopeial Forum) that relate to labeling and packaging of drug products.
  3. The Council encourages healthcare professionals to report medication errors and unsafe conditions to internal, local, and national reporting programs (e.g., FDA MedWatch Program or the Institute for Safe Medication Practices [ISMP] Medication Errors Reporting Program).
  4. The Council encourages healthcare professionals to share medication error-related experiences and case studies with their colleagues through newsletters, journals, bulletin boards, and the Internet.
Adopted: 
May 30, 1998
Revised: 
October 22, 2014