Further to a recent letter regarding incomprehensible labelling, might I add a related and equally important area of deficiency regarding labelling of medicinal products and the ‘Patient Information Leaflets’ enclosed in medical products.
Medicines for human use should be clearly understood by the user, which is all well and good here in Cyprus if the purchaser is able to read the Greek language! Surely the Cypriot medicinal marketing authorities should take into account the multitude of non-Greek speakers residing here coupled with the vast number of tourists who visit annually who are unable to understand the patient information leaflets.
I find it difficult to comprehend how the European Medicine Agency (EMA) and the Committee of Human Medicinal Products (CHMP) who issue the final decision for the sale of medicinal products in Cyprus don’t understand that an immeasurable number of purchasers will not comprehensively understand how to use the product.
Fortunately, pharmacists across the island are generally helpful to non-Greek speakers in interpreting customer requests, detecting therapeutic incompatibilities and giving advice to the user. This however, does not detract from the fact that the ‘patient information leaflet’ is written only in the Greek language.
Michael G. Kelly, via email