The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday began requiring drug makers to submit electronic versions of their product labels for use in a government-run database of medicines.
The labels contain extensive information about the benefits, risks and chemistry of a given drug, and may include specific safety warnings.
The government expects to have labels for most of the available prescription drugs posted on the Web site of the National Library of Medicine — http://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov — within a year. As of Wednesday, the information for a single drug was posted.
The labels for vaccines, medical devices, veterinary drugs and some food products will be added later, the FDA said.
Unlike the printed labels that patients receive when they are prescribed a drug, each the labels on the Web site will be updated as new information, such as additional warnings, is added to the label.