Time to rethink use of English-only medicine labels

Having information on medicine in a language the patient is comfortable with is necessary, especially with Singapore's ageing population

If you can read this sentence, you may question the need to rethink the labels on medicine. But 53 per cent of Singaporeans aged 65 and above, who are not literate in English, will likely disagree with you.

Medicine labels - the sticker labels printed and affixed by hospitals, polyclinics, GP clinics and community pharmacies in Singapore on prescription medicine packets and bottles before they are dispensed - contain written information on the medicine alongside patient and healthcare institution or pharmacy details.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 15, 2021, with the headline 'Time to rethink use of English-only medicine labels'. Subscribe