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Labelling drugs: a big step forward


The Department of Health and the NHS Chemist Contractors Committee have at last arranged what most doctors have wanted for years, that dispensed medicines should be identified by name on the label. The abbreviation NP (for Nomen Proprium) requests the pharmacist to label the container with the name and strength of the drug. Such labelling often helps the doctor when the record of a patient’s treatment is not available, and it can help the patient who needs more than one drug. Labels are a reliable guide most of the time, but some patients may put new tablets in old bottles, and if there is doubt it is safest to check with the pharmacist.

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