Social Question

rebbel's avatar

Isn't it a bit weird that , for example, an electric toothbrush comes with a manual in innumerable languages, yet a patient information leaflet for medication comes in just one?

Asked by rebbel (23444 points ) January 16th, 2012

That is, in the Netherlands it comes with only one language.
Is this the same for the country you live in?
If yes, isn’t that ‘the world turned upside down’; would it not be more important to inform all people from different origins (with their own native tongues) about possible side effects drugs can have, then for them to be informed about the working of said electric toothbrush?
Surely, the size of the print can’t be the problem; we already need magnifiers to read them PILs…

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8 Answers

janbb's avatar

Maybe the drug labels are printed in the one language of the country they are being sold in.

digitalimpression's avatar

I’m still trying to figure out why they put so many steps on a pop tart package.

zenvelo's avatar

The toothbrush is sold all over the world without repackaging. But prescription drugs are all repackaged by the pharmacist for one user.

rebbel's avatar

@zenvelo @janbb Makes sense.
So, where you live, when someone goes to a pharmacist to get medication, and he is a non-native speaker, will he/she receive the leaflet in her/his own language (even though the box includes a leaflet with the main language in it)?

Symbeline's avatar

Things like electrical toothbrushes are mass produced and distributed all over the place, so it makes sense to have several languages. As for medication, it’s produced, manufactured and sold in much more confined areas, as already mentioned. There’s a bunch of laws around them too, which would prevent widespread distribution, even if it wasn’t for prescription issues that cater to specific needs.
Things that are sold in drug stores like Tylenol though, always have French and English over here. I suppose in most places, it has the necessary languages for most folks in the country to understand.

selfe's avatar

@zenvelo In which country are prescription drugs “all repackaged by the pharmacist for one user”? In my experience that does not happen everywhere…

selfe's avatar

@rebbel In the USA the patient might receive information in his/her preferred language if the pharmacy knows that the preferred language isn’t English and if the pharmacy is set up to provide it… It is important because people with a limited proficiency in the country’s language will otherwise have trouble understanding the information.

LezboPirate's avatar

I never actually read the instructions for anything, so I hadn’t noticed. I’m incredibly skilled at already knowing what…to do with the things I buy. :D

Skipped some cussing, just for you folks. Feel special, because I’m a cussyface at heart.

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