A survey in the Postgraduate Medical Journal revealed that a quarter of patients are unknowingly prescribed drugs containing animal products, according to BBC News.Gelatin–derived from animals bones or skin–is commonly used in tablets and liquid medicines as a thickening agent, particularly in versions of mass-produced drugs in which the initial patent has expired.
The researchers surveyed 500 patients and found that of the 200 that followed a vegetarian diet, 49 were unwittingly taking drugs containing gelatin.
The report called for clearer drug labelling, suggesting that drug companies adopt an ingredients list, mark labels with symbols promoted by the Vegetarian Society or simply use vegetarian alternatives to gelatin when manufacturing products.
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