An analysis of patient information leaflets supplied with medicines sold by pharmacists in the United Kingdom

Cheryl Twomey


The primary aim of this exploratory study was to analyse the design factors contributing to the reading ease and comprehension of medicinal information leaflets. Good practice guidelines on general typography and layout were chosen from the literature and compared with European Commission guidelines on preparing package leaflets. The suitability of the guidelines for evaluating package inserts was investigated using leaflets accompanying thirteen different medicines available from pharmacies. With minor revision, the design recommendations were appropriate for developing over the counter medicinal leaflets. There was general agreement that simplicity is the key to good information design. It was concluded that the design of readable medicinal package inserts is a complex, process. Consumer participation is essential and advice from a professional designer highly desirable.


deign; information leaflets; typography; medicine

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CILIP Registered Charity no 313014

ISSN 1756-1086 (Online)