From day one of your pharmacy business you must have labels. They’re required to be on every prescription dispensed and are the primary point of communication to the patient regarding their medications. Printing a label may even be required as part of your board inspection that occurs when applying for a pharmacy license, so needless to say it’s an important aspect of your pharmacy business.
The state in which you’re located determines what is required to be printed on your pharmacy prescription label. I encourage you to look up your state’s pharmacy laws to ensure that you have all required information located on your labels. The information that may be required to be on your label could include:
- Patient name and address
- Prescription name, generic name, and strength (ex: 50 mg)
- Prescription number from your pharmacy system
- Drug manufacturer
- NDC number
- Number of refills
- Instructions (sig)
- Pharmacy information
- Prescriber's information (sometimes lead doctor)
- Days’ supply
- Expiration date
Pharmacy Label Design and Customization
Many pharmacy software companies offer a standard label layout. However, few are able to offer you simple customizations with a quick turnaround.
Now that you’re familiar with what you may be required to have printed on a label, you may be wondering why customizable labels are important. Here a few ways that customizing a label can help your pharmacy business.
- Constantly changing laws: State requirements for labels are ever changing. One day an auditor may come into your pharmacy and let you know that you’re no longer compliant because your current labels don’t contain newly required information like the prescribing doctor’s name. In a case like this it’s important that you can make a change to your label in a short amount of time or risk being penalized.
- Efficiency: Customized labels allow you to maximize space, using what might be considered wasted space in a standard label for things like signature capture, pharmacy workflow messages, IOU Notes or any other common message that could be beneficial to adhere to the prescription bottle or delivery bag. Additionally, you can use space like this for a patient mailing label which comes in handy when sending new patient thank you cards or welcome letters.
- Flexibility for different offerings: As I stated previously, each prescription that leaves your pharmacy must have a label no matter the package. However, labels are not one size fits all. While a regular vial label will fit an IV bag it may not provide enough space to legibly provide the necessary information regarding that prescription, and it will most likely won’t fit a prescription cream package. Most pharmacies work around this by folding the label a certain way or placing the label on the box. However, with customizable labels you can create a smaller label to print out for smaller packages. Furthermore, customizable labels allow you to have different designs for different parts of your business. If you need a different label for the various services that your pharmacy offers (long-term care, medication synchronization, or compounding prescriptions), this is something that can be easily done.
- Marketing: By partnering with label designers like Rx Systems, Drug Package or Pharmacy Automation Supplies you can create a custom label design complete with your pharmacy’s color logo. This will not only serve as one item of information required to be on your labels, but it’s an excellent way to market your pharmacy’s brand.
Just because a prescription label is required to dispense medication doesn’t mean that it can't be used for other things. With some customization and design specific to your pharmacy your prescription label can be used at a great source of information and instruction to your patient after they’ve left the pharmacy as well as a marketing tool for your pharmacy business.