4 Ways Pharmacists Provide Accessible Prescriptions to the Blind

Empish standing at the counter of her local pharmacy

The last two  weeks I have been struggling to get a prescription filled. Usually when I call my doctor my medication is ready in a couple of days for pickup from my local pharmacy. However, a new computer system  is causing the delay. As of this writing I am still without my medication. Going through this has caused me to reflect on the importance of  pharmacies and the people who work there. Yesterday, Jan. 12, was National Pharmacist day. I have been fortunate to have a good working relationship with my local pharmacy  and they know me by name.

Pharmacist Helped During Pandemic

Even when COVID  was at its peak the pharmacist  was very helpful and considerate of my disability. For example, when  the vaccine was first available the online forms to get a COVID shot were complicated. The online form also was timed which made it hard to complete quickly with my screen reader. My pharmacist  allowed me to bypass  this process and schedule my vaccines over the phone.

A prescription bottle laying on the side with medication spilling out.

My pharmacist also personally assisted me with  finding supplies to make it through  COVID. Products like Ibuprofen, rubbing alcohol  and hydrogen peroxide  were items highly recommended during those hard and difficult days. All of those supplies came in handy when I was overcoming the side affects of my COVID vaccine  and booster shots.

Pharmacist Sensitive to My Disability

I remember many years ago one of my regular meds changed. The shape and feel of the pill was different. My pharmacist alerted me. She was sensitive and aware of my visual disability and wanted me to be mindful so I could be confident I was taking the correct medication.

Besides these efforts to provide accommodations directly to me, pharmacies  offer free  accessible  prescription labels and info  to the blind community. This form of accessibility was established by the US Access Board’s Working Group on Accessible Prescription Labels and the FDA Safety & Innovation Act. Pharmacies responded to this government mandate  with the following measures:

1. Walgreens

Pill Reminder Device for prescriptions

Walgreen’s exclusively provides the Talking Pill Reminder. It’s a plastic disc with adhesive stickers to securely attach to the bottom of a prescription medicine bottle. The pharmacist records the info and  sticks the device to the medication bottle.

2. Envision America

Envision America provides an electronic medication label  called ScripTalk. This label is scanned and read from an app on a smartphone or the ScripTalk device.

Pill Reminder with labels

3. CVS  Pharmacy

CVS provides SpokenRX. Much like ScripTalk, this option also uses an audio label placed onto your prescriptions that are scanned and read by the CVS SpokenRX app from a  smartphone.

4. Accessible Pharmacy

Accessible Pharmacy sends medications and supplies through mail order. They deliver accessible devices, such as ScripTalk, large print  and braille labels; and special packaging options.

A prescription bottle with medication and a Pill Reminder attached to the top.

All of these efforts to make prescription drugs accessible gives blind folks independence and privacy. Plus avoiding serious problems like an overdose  or missed dosage. We all want to stay healthy and well so be sure to thank  your pharmacist.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.