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Access to Prescription Drug Information

Contributed by Joel Zimba, Special Projects Coordinator, MDTAP

You’ve heard of the Safety and Innovation Act of 2012, right?  Me either. It is, however, a recent policy decision from the Food and Drug Administration. Among other things, it requires pharmacies to provide drug information in a form which is accessible to “the blind, those with low vision and the elderly.”

Some time ago, we posted about the ScripTalk system, which reads electronic information embedded in the label of a medication bottle. AccessaMed provides yet another solution. By  attaching a small device to a bottle, the touch of a button will read all of the information accompanying the medication. The AccessaMed device is free to consumers.

These two solutions for  providing access to pharmacy prescriptions appear to meet all of the requirements of the various laws (including the Americans with Disabilities Act) which now require participation from all pharmacies.  Unfortunately, neither method guarantees accessibility for the deaf-blind.   It is progress nonetheless; expect such technologies to become more and more common in the near future.  Urge your local pharmacy to adopt AccessaMed or a similar system.


One Response to “AccessaMed for the blind, 10/22/13”

  1. Sharla Glass says:

    As of Fall 2013 ScripTalk does provide an accessible label option for the deaf-blind. Deaf-blind users can request a USB version of ScripTalk and ScripTalk User Software so that the prescription information can be exported via text to a Braille browser display device. Low vision users can also choose this option if they would like to see the information as large print on their computer.

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