Designing Safer Packaging and Labeling

Med-E.R.R.S. and the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) report that up to 25% of reported medication errors are related to issues with product packaging and or labels. The two groups hope to reduce such errors.

Med-E.R.R.S. will be sponsoring the teleconference, “Spotlight on Medication Safety: Designing Safe Packaging and Labels,” on Wednesday, November 14, 1:30 – 3:00 PM EST.

“It is important for pharmaceutical companies to develop packaging and labeling in a safe manner,” says Susan Proulx, PharmD, president of Med-E.R.R.S. “Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) and human factors engineering are two methodologies that can be used to help increase the chances of designing a clear, unambiguous, easy-to-understand package or label.” Proulx will moderate the event, which brings together experts in medication safety and human factors engineering to discuss how to improve product packaging and labels. The two speakers are:

Michael R. Cohen, RPh, MS, ScD
President, Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP)

John Gosbee, MD, MS
Human Factors Engineering & Healthcare Specialist Red Forest Consulting & University of Michigan Health System

The teleconference aims to do the following:

  • Identify and discuss label and packaging issues that lead to medication errors as identified by ISMP.
  • Describe newly established medical product design initiatives that are under way at FDA and within the pharmaceutical industry to help prevent errors.
  • Understand the role of Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) in the detection and prevention of package and label-related medication errors.
  • Recognize that many error-prone drug labels arise from not following human factors engineering guidelines.
  • Understand the human factors engineering methods that are crucial for detecting issues and enhancing label and packaging design.
  • Determine that innovative packaging can improve safety and serve a central role in disease management.

Med-E.R.R.S. Inc. is a wholly owned for-profit subsidiary of ISMP established in 1997. It has worked with more than 100 pharmaceutical companies. For more information and to register for the event, visit


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