Vegetarians may be unaware of animal products in meds

A UK investigation of the 100 most commonly prescribed drugs in primary care found 74 contained one or more animal-derived ingredients such as lactose, gelatine or magnesium stearate.

While some drugs were labelled with the animal origins of the ingredient – such as lactose being extracted using bovine rennet – many did not disclose provenance, the researchers said.

Some drug manufacturers had switched to vegetarian processes but this was often not on the outside of the pack. Doctors as well as patients remained unclear about ingredients,

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