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.
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:
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.
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
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.