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MLPS Manifesto

Safeguarding Patient Safety by Retaining Paper
Medical Leaflets

Medical leaflets are a vital source of information for patients, empowering them to make informed decisions.
The Medical Leaflets = Patient Safety (MLPS) campaign, a subgroup within the European Carton Manufacturers
Association, advocates for a complementary approach that retains paper leaflets alongside e-leaflets to ensure equitable access to crucial healthcare information.

What we stand for

Paper leaflets are the only failsafe source of healthcare information for patients. It helps individuals to understand proper dosage, potential side effects and crucial warnings associated with their medication. MLPS advocates for the continued availability of these leaflets, ensuring patients have a reliable, readily available resource at their
fingertips in any situation.

MLPS prioritizes patient safety and informed decision-making when it comes to medication. We believe everyone, regardless of socio-economic background, deserves clear and accessible information about their prescribed drugs or
other medicines.


While technology offer some advantages for accessing healthcare information, it’s crucial to
recognize that not everyone has equal access to digital tools. According to Eurostat, only 54% of Europeans have basic digital skills. Even in countries with high smartphone usage such as Denmark, up to 25% of the population do not own a smartphone, which is required to access e-leaflets. Limited access to internet and lack of adequate
skills can leave a significant number of patients without access to crucial healthcare information, especially the older population who take the most medication.


The option of ‘Print on Demand’ is being discussed as an alternative to paper leaflets when digital leaflets are rolled out. However, research shows that POD is an unworkable alternative in practice. POD implementation lacks clarity and imposes additional burdens on pharmacies in terms of time, resources, and costs. MLPS study indicates that the
cost impact of POD is 2 to 3 times larger than the current system, with pharmacies facing logistical and liability concerns. A balanced approach is essential, guaranteeing access to both paper and electronic leaflets.

MLPS Call to Action
  1. Retain paper medical leaflets alongside e-leaflets
    MLPS stands firmly against proposals that would eliminate paper leaflets entirely and put patient safety at risk. We urge the European Parliament and Commission to prioritize patient safety and accessibility to healthcare information by advocating for a complementary approach that retains paper medical leaflets alongside e-leaflets. Access to information on medicines should be inclusive to all Europeans and not exclusive to those with a smartphone and the required digital skills to connect.


  2. A proper impact assessment
    We urge to have a proper impact assessment of the readiness of the EU population to adopt electronic leaflets and the potential issues that could stem from it. It is important to legislate based on evidence, ensuring that policies align with the principles of patient safety, accessibility, and privacy. We stand committed to safeguarding patient safety and equal access to healthcare information.

You can download the full MLPS Manifesto here.

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