New pharma trial: Pfizer, GSK, J&J test 1-page drug information sheets

While drug labels get lots of FDA attention, drug information sheets have gotten very little--until now. With the blessing of the FDA, three of pharma's biggest companies are testing a new one-page sheet that was expressly created so that patients would read and benefit from it, rather than just cover the bases.

The single-page documents are being tested in California and Michigan through the Rite Aid drugstore chain. The sheets now accompany prescriptions of Pfizer's ($PFE) arthritis drug Celebrex, GlaxoSmithKline's ($GSK) asthma medication Ventolin and Johnson & Johnson's ($JNJ) HIV medication Prezista, explains Medical Marketing & Media.

The sheets were created by communications firm Catalina Health with input from the drug companies and consultants The Brookings Group. The effort actually began when Catalina and 7 drug companies filed a citizen's petition with the FDA in 2008 about the need for a change, Catalina General Counsel Claire DeMatteis tells the publication. After reviewing a four-page sheet for Pfizer's Celebrex with its hard-to-read type, the FDA agreed there was a problem and allowed the group to seek a solution, she says. The Brookings Group was picked to head the effort and brought in the three drug companies for insight. The result, DeMatteis says, is a document that "is simpler. It's newly formatted and it's more consumer friendly for them to understand the drug they're currently taking."

Analysis of the effort should be done by early next year after the program collects feedback from pharmacists and phone and online surveys. Then the effort will be expanded into other areas and to other languages. 

- read the Medical Marketing & Media story 

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