Corbett Bill Requiring 12-Point Font Prescription Drug Labels Passes Assembly Committee

June 25, 2013

SB 205 Supported by Statewide Health, Retiree Organizations

SACRAMENTO – Important legislation authored by Senate Majority Leader Ellen M. Corbett (D-East Bay) that requires pharmacists to print specific items on a prescription label in at least 12 point font passed the Assembly Health Committee earlier today. 

The Board of Pharmacy (Board) was required to standardize the prescription drug label to make it more patient-centered following the Governor’s signature of SB 472 in 2007 by Senator Corbett.  The Board conducted a survey in 2009 as part of that process which found that 60% of participants that responded believed that larger or bolder print would make prescription labels easier to read.

“SB 205 helps keep patients safe and may potentially save lives by requiring that prescription labels appear in at least 12 point font,” Senator Corbett said.  “This patient-centered bill requires that the most important items on labels appear in 12 point font: patient’s name, drug’s name and strength, directions for use and the condition for which the drug was prescribed.  This simple change will help many vision-impaired Californians, including millions of seniors that have expressed difficulty reading the current small print on their prescription labels.”

The California Department on Aging reports that from 1990 to 2020, California’s population over 60 years of age will increase by over 110 percent. 

SB 205 is supported by the California State Retirees / Chapter 1, California Alliance for Retired Americans, California Commission on Aging, California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, Paramedics Plus, Vision y Compromiso and Pharmacists Planning Services, Inc.