Rx bottles could get simpler labels

    A new proposal from health experts could make the instructions on prescription medicine easier to read.

    Latin words and super-small font sizes are out — simple language and at least 12-point type is in.

    The U.S. Pharmacopeia sets standards for drug purity and quality, and experts there say the label changes could cut down on medical mistakes and confusion. Their idea is to standardize the label that comes on those amber-colored bottles.

    Target pharmacies made some of the recommended changes back in 2005.

    “All of your vital information, your name, what the prescription is, what the frequency is, is all on the top. And the opening of the bottle, that’s what it stands on,” said Jill Hornbacher, a Target spokeswoman.

    Target also flattened its bottles so there is more surface to print warnings in larger print.

    And the retailer added a color-coded ring at the neck of each bottle so your child’s hay fever medicine doesn’t get confused with grandma’s heart pills.

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not regulate prescription drug labeling. Each state sets standards. Retailers such as Walgreens and RiteAid each have their own label design.

    Shawn Becker, of U.S. Pharmacopeia, said a long line of research shows that many of us never read — or don’t understand — the instructions that come with our prescription pills.

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