When you need to identify medications, you have a number of ways to go about it. These include identifying a medication by its name, trade dress, or appearance. You can also identify a drug by the way it has been deprecated or added to a medicine list.
Identifying medications by name
The ability to identify medications by name may help patients in screening for medication errors and adherence to prescriptions. It also can inform a physician’s communication with a patient. However, identifying a medicine by name can be a complicated process.
Many patients struggle to properly dose prescribed medicines. They have trouble with reading labels, remembering daily medication schedules and understanding complex drug regimens.
A new study suggests that people who can identify medicines by name are more likely to have lower blood pressure and fewer hospitalizations. That’s because they are less likely to miss a medication, compared to those who don’t know how to do the same.
However, the association between a person’s ability to identify a medication by name and their health outcomes was not as strong as expected. Patients who could not accurately identify medications by any means were more likely to self-report poorer adherence.
Identifying medications by appearance
Identifying medications by appearance is important for many reasons. For example, if you find an unknown pill in your pocket or your medicine cabinet, you need to know its identity. Medications can vary by manufacturer, dosage form, strength, and inactive ingredients.
Keeping track of your medications is important if you have chronic medical conditions. Many patients take multiple medications from multiple prescribers. If you have a list of your medicines, you can give it to all of your doctors and healthcare providers.
Some medications can be identified by the manufacturer’s logo. Others can be identified by color, shape, imprint, or pattern. Aside from the medication’s name, you can also use the National Drug Code (NDC).
NDCs are used to identify a drug product. They contain a lot number, labeler code, and product code. Each legal pill has a unique identifier.
Identifying medications by trade dress
Trade dress is a legal term that describes the overall look and feel of a product, such as its color, shape, design and packaging. It’s also used to identify pharmaceutical products.
A good example of a trade dress is the pink color used on Owens-Corning insulation products. The color has been deemed to be the “trade dress” because it makes the product identifiable.
In the United States, it is possible for a drug to be protected by trade dress even without trademark registration. However, the rights must be carefully selected. Moreover, the terms of protection can be indefinite.
There are three key criteria to determining if trade dress is valid. First, the product must be unique. Second, the physical attributes must be functional but not functionally redundant. Finally, the trade dress must not affect the quality, performance or price of the drug.
Identifying medications that have been added or discontinued
Identifying the most popular medications in your patient roster can be an overwhelming challenge. The most egregious offenders include antibiotics and antipsychotics. A multipronged approach is the only way to go. Having a good protocol oriented communication channel is the best way to ensure that medications are not only administered as intended but that they aren’t forgotten. One solution is to include a post hospital visit review of all medications taken during the visit. Keeping an eye on medications taken in other settings is also an option.
Getting a grip on which patients have what drugs, and at what doses is the first order of the business. This is a matter of high priority, as a lack of access can mean the difference between life and death.
Identifying medications that have been deprescribing
When trying to identify medications that have been deprescribing, you need to be aware of a number of factorsOther factors include medication use, patient preferences, and available resources.
In order to identify medications that have been deprescribing, it’s crucial to have good communication. It is also necessary to address potential barriers to the process.
Fortunately, there are a number of resources that can help clinicians find the best ways to communicate with their patients. These resources include patient education materials and generic frameworks. Moreover, they can provide anticipatory guidance to ensure that patients understand their treatment options and are able to discuss the process with their doctors.