By Marvin Magusara
What’s at stake with a product misspelling? For any other type of business, it would mean a complete recall – costly, but maybe otherwise harmless– but, when it comes to the pharma industry, a whole other set of issues could present themselves.
Setting aside the financial costs of a recall and the time you have to lose by fixing these issues, we have to keep in mind the obvious: Patients rely on their prescriptions to help them maintain their health. Errors in pharma labeling can be devastating because they lead to drug misuse and the appearance of potentially lethal consequences.
So, what might be an unfortunate and mild inconvenience for almost any other type of company, becomes a major, life-threatening issue for a pharmaceutical one. The risk placed on people’s lives, the money and time you have to consume, and the damage to your company’s image and reputation makes pharma labeling a process that must be undertaken with extra care and meticulous attention to detail. Sadly, however, misspellings in the pharma industry continue to happen time and again.
Why does a process that’s supposed to be highly technical and scrupulous keep encountering problems with labeling issues? It’s hard to pinpoint a single reason, mainly because medical packaging methods and techniques are different for every company. Let’s stop to analyze some common causes of medical and pharmaceutical spelling errors and what can we do to eradicate them.