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Articles

Package leaflet must be more understandable

European Commission presents report far too late / Proposals not concrete enough


“The package leaflet shall finally be more understandable,” according to MEP Peter LIESE, health spokesperson of the EPP group in the European Parliament. Recently, the European Commission published a report on the issue. In the report, the Commission determines that there are problems with the intelligibility of the package leaflet, but without any concrete proposals to solve the problem. “I am very disappointed with that result. In 2012, the Commission committed to present a report in 2013 on how to improve the readability of the package leaflet.

This report is four years late now. The fact that there are not any concrete proposals is even more disappointing. The proposal by the European Parliament to introduce a key information section was not included. It is merely stated that this idea needs to be further examined. According to my knowledge as a medical doctor, I know that a lot of patients did not read the package leaflet carefully enough because it is too complicated. Other patients do read the leaflet very carefully, and due to possible side-effects, do not take that medicine. Both are counterproductive and we have to react accordingly. In the US, it has been proven that when the most relevant information in the leaflet is highlighted in an easy to understand and easy to read manner, better health outcomes are achieved. After six years I cannot understand why the Commission only summarises that this issue needs to be further examined” Liese said.

© Dr. med. Peter Liese, MdEP 2017