Labelling Single Entity Drugs


Published: April 1983

Review Date: December 2012

Legislative references:

College Contact: Pharmacy Practice


As stated in section 156(3) of the Drug and Pharmacies Regulation Act, all prescriptions should be correctly labelled to identify the name of the drug, its strength, and its manufacturer, unless directed otherwise by the prescriber.


The College adopted the following policy to outline its position on the labelling of single entity drugs:

  • All single entity drugs must be labelled using the chemical name of the drug (also known as the non-proprietary name or the generic name), plus the name of the manufacturer.
  • Particular care should be taken in cases where the prescriber has written a prescription using a brand (proprietary) name drug, but an interchangeable product is dispensed. In these cases, the pharmacist should ensure that the label indicates the chemical name and the name of the manufacturer used.

For example, an appropriate label for Apo-Amoxi 500 mg would read:

Amoxicillin 500 mg APX

Or if brand name were to be used:

Apo-amoxi 500mg
Amoxicillin 500 mg APX

An inappropriate prescription label of Apo-Amoxi 500 mg would read:

Apo-Amoxi 500 mg

This is incorrect as the label is only giving the brand name of the drug.