A proposed Food and Drug Administration program to require written information with prescription drugs could cost $500 million annually; the American Medical Association has implemented a similar, voluntary program costing more than $3 million. However, the educational impact of written drug information has not been studied. We evaluated one-page drug information sheets using an objective examination. The baseline score of 71 patients was 3.9 of 6.0. Patients tested before and one day after receiving the drug sheet improved their score by +1.4. In the second phase, patients randomized to receive the drug sheet improved their score after one month by +1.1; those not given the sheet had no improvement. Changes in attitudes and incidence of reported adverse effects seemed to be random and unrelated to the information sheet. Thus, a drug information sheet may be a useful adjunct to patient education.
Johnson MW, Mitch WE, Sherwood J, Lopes L, Schmidt A, Hartley H. The Impact of a Drug Information Sheet on the Understanding and Attitude of Patients About Drugs. JAMA. 1986;256(19):2722–2724. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03380190092032
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