Older Consumers Fail to Read Drug Warning Labels

by Chris Curley on July 9, 2012

Half of consumers over the age of 50 don’t read the warning labels on prescription medications, a recent study shows.

By comparison, 90 percent of young adults between the ages of 20 and 29 do so, researchers from Kansas State University and Michigan State University find.

The findings show that prescriptions drug makers may need to make changes to how they design and place their warning labels on bottles and other packaging, researchers say. The study also shows that older adults should be extra careful when receiving new medication to find and fully read the warnings and instructions.

Around 15 million medication errors occur each year in the U.S., mostly at home, the researchers say.

The study appears online in the journal PLoS ONE.