Medicine information leaflets 'must be clearer' say experts

Medicine information leaflets 'must be clearer' say experts

The Academy also referenced a survey of 2,000 Britons which found that because scientific evidence had been poorly explained, two thirds of people trusted their friends and family about the effects of medicines over medical research. "For this to happen, information from research will need to be more accessible and understandable, as well as reliable and trustworthy in the future", he said. It calls for them to be written in simple and clear terms so that patients understand the potential benefits of medicines and their possible side-effects.

The leaflets should also include information on the benefits and risks of taking a drug, and not just an "impetrable" and "unreadable" list of potential harms, authors said.

The report makes a series of recommendations on strengthening the use of scientific evidence by the public, patients and professionals when judging the potential benefits and harms of medicines.

The Academy has also launched a set of questions that members of the public can can take the list to their doctor to help them make better informed decisions about whether to take a medicine.

A report by the Academy of Medical Sciences is calling for an overhaul of patient information following a string of controversies over the risks and benefits of common drugs.

The Academy report says information leaflets that come with medicines are often unclear and unhelpful.

The Academy has called for the National Health Service (NHS) to publish more detailed information on common treatments, including listing the most common risks and side effects, and urge Global Positioning System to take more time during appointments to properly discuss concerns, especially with older people. Research claims 80,000 strokes and heart attacks a year will be prevented from these pills, though patients and Global Positioning System fear the long-term consequences of taking the medication, which could lead to type 2 diabetes.

"That's a regulatory requirement and we're saying that the regulation needs to serve the user and therefore what they need too is a balanced view of the potential harms and benefits".

One of the highlights of the report was statins, which are taken by many people to lower cholesterol.

Professor Dame Sally Davies, the Chief Medical Officer for England, said: 'Medical science is progressing at an unprecedented rate, opening up opportunities not only to cure certain diseases but potentially to prevent them ever occurring.

'It is our view that unless we improve the use of scientific evidence to judge the potential harms and benefits of medicines, both established and new, patients will not reap the full advantage of scientific advance'.