Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 40 (4):1025-1033 (2012)

Access to clear and concise medication information is essential to support safe and effective use of prescription drugs. Patient misunderstanding of medication information is a common reason for non-adherence to medication regimens and a leading cause of outpatient medication errors and adverse drug events in the U.S. Medication errors are the most common source of risk to patient safety, leading to poor health outcomes, hospitalizations, and deaths. Over half a million adverse drug events occur in the outpatient setting each year at a cost of approximately $1 billion annually.Nearly half of adults in the U.S. experience difficulty understanding and acting upon health information. Even individuals with high levels of general literacy may find medication information difficult to understand or use. The risk of misunderstanding medication information is compounded for patients with limited English proficiency who may not have access to this information in their own language.
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DOI 10.1111/j.1748-720x.2012.00729.x
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