Prescription Refill Appearance Change Puts Patients Off Meds




This is Scientific American 60-Second Health. I'm Dina Fine Maron. Got a minute?
Don't judge a book by its cover.
And don't judge a pill by its color¡ or shape.
When prescriptions for post-heart-attack care got refilled and the same drugs suddenly came in different shapes or colors, patients were significantly more likely to stop taking their meds.
That's the finding from a study involving more than 11,000 patients that appears in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Even when different looking pills contained the exact same active ingredient,
a change in color boosted the odds that patients would stop taking their heart medication by 34 percent.
A change in shape jumped the chance that patients would cease their meds by 66 percent.
There's no legal requirement to make generic and brand-name drugs appear alike.
But the study's authors say that the Food and Drug Administration should consider making consistent appearance the standard,
as such uniformity would likely result in more patients adhering to their medication regimens.
For now, we're all stuck reading pharmaceutical labels.
Thanks for the minute, for Scientific American 60-Second Health. I'm Dina Fine Maron.