Background and Additional Resources

In this multi-phase project, participating pharmacies in Wisconsin will redesign prescription labels to make them patient-centered by using United States Pharmacopeia (USP) guidelines. This means that the labels will be much easier for patients to read and understand! Click on the links below for more information about the different phases and activities in each. 

Phase 1: Potential for Adoption of New Prescription Medication Label Standards in Wisconsin: In this phase, Wisconsin Health Literacy studied the feasibility of implementing United States Pharmacopeia (USP) guidelines in Wisconsin. (Project completed in Fall 2015)

Phase 2 (pilot): Implementation of New Medication Label Standards in Wisconsin: In this phase, Wisconsin Health Literacy partnered with 5 pharmacy organizations to redesign prescription labels using USP guidelines at 64 sites. (Project completed in December 2017)

Phase 3: Expansion of New Prescription Medication Labels in Wisconsin: In this expanded phase, Wisconsin Health Literacy will partner with 15-21% additional pharmacies across the state of Wisconsin to redesign prescription labels using USP guidelines. Pharmacies interested in participating should contact Kari LaScala, Associate Director of Health Literacy: or Stan Hudson, Health Literacy Director: (Project ends December 2020)

Wisconsin and Federal Labeling Requirements

WI Chapter Phar 7
WI Chapter Phar 8
WI Chapter 450

Federal Regulations

Journal Articles and other Resources

AHRQ's Explicit and Standardized Prescription Medicine Instructions

Bailey SC et al, Expanding the Universal Medication Schedule: a patient-centered approach

Davis TC, Wolf M et al, Literacy and Misunderstanding Prescription Drug Labels

Institute of Medicine. Standardizing Medication Labels: Confusing Patients Less

Lee, Charles. Patient Understanding: The Cornerstone of Medication Adherence

Smith, Michelle Cruz Jimenez et al. Lost in translation: Medication labeling for immigrant families. (JAPhA membership required)

Thurmer, A. Building a Patient-Centered Medication Label 

Wolf M, Bailey, SC. The Role of Health Literacy in Patient Safety

Wolf M et al, To err is human: Patient misinterpretations of prescription drug label instructions

Wolf M, Davis TC et al, Effect of Standardized, Patient-Centered Label Instructions to Improve Comprehension of Prescription Drug Use

Wood, B. Medication Adherence: The Real Problem When Treating Chronic Conditions 

National Libraries of Medicine (NLM) Medline Plus - a consumer health database (Drugs, Herbs, and Supplements category) owned and maintained by NLM 

National Libraries of Medicine (NLM) DailyMed - information on drug labeling