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Wolters Kluwer Health Expands Tall Man Drug Name Lettering in Medi-Span Drug Information Databases

Drug lettering conventions reduce risk of sound-alike, look-alike medication errors

Wolters Kluwer Health, a leading global provider of information for healthcare professionals and students, announced today that its Medi-Span product line will significantly increase the number of “Tall Man” drug names available in its products. Tall Man designations use capital letters to help distinguish look-alike drug products on computer screens and reports, thus reducing the risk of medication errors frequently associated with drug names that look or sound alike.

The Medi-Span product line is comprised of drug and clinical information databases that can be embedded in a wide range of healthcare applications, including retail pharmacy, pharmacy benefit management, claims processing and electronic medical records.

Evidence gathered by the Institute of Safe Medication Practices suggests that the use of Tall Man lettering prevents dispensing or administering of the wrong medication for drugs with look-alike or sound-alike names. Medi-Span initially introduced Tall Man drug names in early 2005. Since then, the demand for drug information providers to do so has significantly increased. Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as well as the Institute for Safe Medication Practice (ISMP) provide lists of so-called look-alike, sound-alike drug name pairs (for example: Celebrex vs. Celexa, Hydralazine vs. Hydroxyzine) where Tall Man lettering is recommended. Many manufacturers also utilize Tall Man drug names in their labeling to further reduce the potential for confusion.

Medi-Span’s expanded editorial policy provides Tall Man lettering for the drug names identified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Generic Drugs, as well as those recommended by the ISMP. In total, 71 specific drug names will now be provided with Tall Man lettering in the Medi-Span files. Ongoing additions to the Tall Man Letters List recommended by FDA or ISMP will included in future Medi-Span product updates.

“Wolters Kluwer Health has led the market in providing Tall Man lettering as a patient safety measure,” said Arvind Subramanian, CEO, Wolters Kluwer Health Clinical Solutions. “As part of our commitment to our clients, who are equally committed to the well-being of their patients, we will continue to monitor and incorporate FDA and ISMP recommendations into our Medi-Span products.”

About Wolters Kluwer Health
Wolters Kluwer Health (Conshohocken, PA), a division of Wolters Kluwer, is a leading provider of information and business intelligence for students, professionals and institutions in medicine, nursing, allied health, pharmacy and the pharmaceutical industry. Major brands include traditional publishers of medical and drug reference tools and textbooks, such as Lippincott Williams & Wilkins and Facts & Comparisons®; electronic information providers, such as Ovid, Medi-Span® and ProVation®; and pharmaceutical information providers such as Adis International an Source®. Wolters Kluwer Health has annual revenues (2007) of $1,044 million (€761 million) and employs approximately 2,700 employees globally. For more information, visit

About Medi-Span
Medi-Span®, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health, is the leading provider of drug information for thousands of health care professionals worldwide. With more than 30 years experience, Medi-Span continues to offer authoritative drug databases in a variety of formats, including clinical decision support and disease suite modules, application programming interfaces and stand-alone software applications. In conjunction with superior implementation and experienced customer support, the Medi-Span product line is the perfect choice for those needing accurate, trusted drug data that easily integrates into existing software applications. For more information, visit or call 800.388.8884, press 2.