16-Apr-14 10:00 AM  CST

National Council for Prescription Drug Programs Recommends The Use Of Standardized Metric Measurements On Oral Liquid Medication Labels

Pharmacy technicians know the importance of drug and patient safety. They also know how important it is to stay up to date on topics that pertain to technicians and the pharmaceutical field. The National Council for Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP) has recently released recommendations and guidance for standardizing the dosing designations used on prescription container labels of oral liquid medications. These recommendations are given to help cut down on dosing errors. Recommendations are as follows: 


  • The millimeter (mL) should be used as a standard unit of measurement.
  • Dose amounts should always use leading zeros before decimal points for amounts less thanone and should not use trailing zeros after a decimal point.
  • Dosing devices with numeric graduations and units corresponding to the container label should be made easily and universally available.  A device should be included with eachdispensed medication.  This is where pharmacy technicians can help the pharmacist make sure such devices are included with the dispensed medication.

            “Adoption and implementation of the white paper recommendations will have an immediate impact on improving patient safety today,” said Lee Ann Stember, President, NCPDP. “This collaboration is another greatexample of what can be accomplished when NCPDP brings industry stakeholders together to address our most valued and vulnerable healthcare stakeholder – patients,” said Stember.

            To read or download the NCPDP White Paper on “NCPDP Recommendations and Guidance for Standardizing The Dosing Designations On Prescription Container Labels Of Oral Liquid Medications,” please visit: http://ncpdp.org/Education/Whitepaper.



1.  Bruce, Maggie. National Council for Prescription Drug Programs Press Release. “NCPDP Issues Patient Safety Guidance On Dosing Of Oral Liquid Medications.” NCPDP. Web. Date of Access: 14 Apr 2014.

Photo: Nenov Brothers Images / Shutterstock.com

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Source: Jennifer S. O’Reilly  

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