Calif. Pharmacy Board To Vote on New Standards for Medication Labeling
On Thursday, the California Board of Pharmacy is expected to vote on a measure that would set a 10-point minimum type size for prescription drug labels and require pharmacies to provide oralÂ interpretation services for non-English speakers, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The measure stems from a 2007 law by Sen. Ellen Corbett (D-San Leandro) that aims to curb medical errors by requiring the pharmacy board to set drug labeling standards.
The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy recommends 12-point type as the industry standard for drug labeling.
California's board originally proposed a 12-point minimum type and a requirement that pharmacies provide non-English speakers with both written and oral translations. However, the board scaled back its proposal in February.
Some consumers and advocacy groups say the changes stem from industry pressure. The pharmacy board has received more than 1,100 letters from Californians urging the board to re-adopt the 12-point standard and more comprehensive translation requirements.
Virginia Herold, executive director of the board, said the panel could change its decision based on public comments (Colliver, San Francisco Chronicle, 4/22).
Although Corbett's law aimed to promote patient safety through standardized medication labeling, "it appears the pharmacy board will ignore that direction and continue to put Californians' health unnecessarily at risk," a San Jose Mercury News editorial states.The editorial continues that Corbett "may need to get a new bill passed to explicitly force the board to do what's right -- but what a shame it will be to have to wait a year for this simple improvement that quite literally will save lives" (San Jose Mercury News, 4/22). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.