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Alzheimer’s medicines packs to become more 'user-friendly'

MHRA: "Small but important" change will increase patients' independence

The UK medicines watchdog is collaborating with the pharmaceutical industry to include days of the week on blister packs from next year

The UK medicines watchdog will introduce "more user-friendly" packaging for Alzheimer's medicine next year, it has announced. 

By making the "small but important change" of clearly including days of the week on packaging, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) hopes to enable Alzheimer's patients to "retain independence in taking their medicines", it said yesterday (November 3).

The improved packaging – expected to be introduced in June 2016 – should also aid compliance and maximise the efficacy of treatment for patients, it added. 

George McNamara, head of policy at charity Alzheimer’s Society, stressed that medication packaging “can be confusing” for people with dementia and simple modifications can have “huge implications” for their independence and safety.

Mr McNamara challenged pharmaceutical companies to "follow suit to create dementia-friendly medication packaging across the board". 

Life sciences minister George Freeman agreed that medicines packaging that "clearly indicates when to take each tablet" would give greater independence, confidence and safety to dementia patients.

Sarah Branch, deputy director of MHRA’s vigilance and risk management of medicines division, added that the watchdog had “listened to the concerns of patients” and would “tailor the way in which the medicines we authorise are presented to the market”. 


Do you think the packaging changes will help Alzheimer's patients?

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Gary BOORMAN, Locum pharmacist

It is probably the clearest indicator of the failure of the industry to understand patient need that legislation is required to print the days of the week on packages .about time !

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