Fri, Jun 24, 2011 - Page 8 News List


Clearer information needed

I am a National Taiwan Normal University student. I agree with Shen Li-jiuan (沈麗娟), who wrote that all medicines should be clearly labeled for the sake of patients (“A need to label drug ingredients,” June 11, page 8). However, I am skeptical about the effectiveness of protecting patients by providing the names of all the ingredients in the drugs without telling them the Chinese names of the ingredients, how they function or what their functions are.

My mom has been going through menopause for the past year. She suffers from palpitations, insomnia and headaches. To ease her pain, she has visited the doctor many times and has been prescribed many medicines.

The drugs she has been taking do have clear labels listing the ingredients — at least, we think they do. After taking certain drugs, though, she sometimes feels more pain and thinks it would be beneficial to search online for information about the ingredients. However, because she is unfamiliar with the English names of the ingredients, she has some difficulties figuring out what the problem might be.

Therefore, I was wondering how listing a medicine’s ingredients on the label can help patients if they do not really understand them at all. Usually, doctors do not describe the specific functions of each ingredient in detail; hence, it is necessary to do independent research in case side effects occur.

Displaying all of a drug’s primary ingredients and additives on the label is great, but it would be more helpful if all the ingredients’ Chinese names were given and a Web site that briefly introduced all of the ingredients were available.



Traditional bias

As a citizen of the Republic of China, I hope that Taiwan can continue with its promising path of development without interference from politics.

I was very surprised to read Mo Yan-chih’s report on the Tourism Bureau and simplified Chinese characters (“Tourism Bureau removes simplified Chinese from Web,” June 16, page 1). As a country seeking to become more international, it is ridiculous to remove a certain version of a language from an official Web site for political reasons.

The Presidential Office spokesman said the simplified Chinese was removed because they want foreigners to appreciate the beauty of traditional Chinese. However, foreigners do not understand it. When foreigners browse our Web sites, they choose the language that they are familiar with: Americans choose English, Japanese choose the Japanese version, while Europeans choose Spanish, French or German. They don’t choose traditional Chinese.

So why remove simplified Chinese? If the government really wants all Web users to appreciate the beauty of traditional Chinese, why do they not remove all other languages? The reason that the government gives is totally inappropriate.

We all know that the next presidential campaign is starting and the fight between the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on cross-strait issues will attract much attention. And we can also see that President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) is carefully dealing with the DPP’s criticism on catering to Chinese free independent travelers.

As president, Ma needs to think before acting and not do anything unwise just to avoid criticism from the DPP.


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