ISMP conducting survey on tall man letters for drug names

June 3, 2008

ISMP is planning to come up with a list of suggestions for tall man letters to differentiate look-alike drug names.

Does the use of tall man lettering (mixed case) help reduce drug name confusion, as when look-alike drugs are listed in computer databases? That’s what the Institute for Safe Medication Practices wants to find out. It has prepared a survey on its Web site to solicit pharmacists’ opinions. ISMP said the findings will be used to prepare an unofficial list of look-alike drug name pairs with suggested tall man letters to guide practitioners and healthcare organizations. ISMP cautioned that this will not be an FDA-approved list. Tall man letters on package labels will still require Food & Drug Administration approval. Responses to the survey are sought by June 27.

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