Consumer medication information: legislative gap and challenges of practice

Main Article Content

Mahmoud Fayyad https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4525-7876
Mohammed Hassanein https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3540-0595
Ahmad I Al-Hiari https://orcid.org/0009-0000-3454-4848
Amna M Othman https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5458-3657
Abduelmula R Abduelkarem https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4481-7779

Keywords

Consumer medication, Package leaflet, Consumer information, Over-the-counter drugs, Patient education, Drug regulatory legislation

Abstract

Objectives: To assess and evaluate OTC package inserts in terms of availability of key medical information and patient understanding of such information, as well as package insert user satisfaction and perceptions. Methods: This study used two quantitative methods: Evaluation of the Over-the-Counter Package Inserts and assessing package inserts user’s satisfaction and perspectives using a cross-sectional survey. Descriptive analysis was used to calculate the response proportion of each group of respondents. Results: A total of 60 package inserts of Over-the-Counter drugs were evaluated. Less than onethird (30%) of the medication under investigation was found to have information about the unit of measurement of the active ingredient. Less than half (44.5%) of respondents reported they usually use the package inserts for information about their medication, and 42.2% rarely use or read package inserts. Difficulty reading or finding information in the package inserts was reported by 37.3 % of respondents. Conclusion: This research identified several factors associated with the proper use of package inserts among the general population in the United Arab Emirates and potential opportunities. Also, due to the lack of binding legislative texts, consumers are dissatisfied with the packaging inserts regarding their appearance and content. A mandatory guideline should be enacted by the competent authorities to ensure the comprehensiveness and readability of pharmacological information.

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