A new study in the Postgraduate Medical Journal reveals that a quarter of vegan or vegetarian medical patients use prescription drugs containing animal-derived ingredients, contrary to their dietary restrictions. After surveying urology patients, British researchers found that, of the 200 patients who avoid animal ingredients, 49 were unknowingly taking medicine containing gelatin. In response to their findings, the study’s authors call for a clearer labeling system in the pharmaceutical industry. Though drug companies are required by EU law to disclose all ingredients in the medications they manufacture, Liz O’Neill, a spokesperson for The Vegetarian Society of the UK, says the current labels are unclear. “Some vegetarians will be shocked to learn about the widespread use of animal ingredients in medicines,” she says.
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