Markey Commends Walgreens on New “Talking” Prescription Devices to Aid Blind and Visually-Impaired

Senator is author of Prescription Drug Labeling Promotion Act to ensure safe, independent access to prescriptions

 

Washington (June 9, 2014) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) today praised steps taken by Walgreens pharmacies to make it easier for the blind and visually-impaired to access their prescriptions with its “Talking Pill Reminder,” technology that reads prescription labels and audibly reminds patients to take medication. In 2012, Senator Markey’s “Prescription Drug Labeling Promotion Act” was passed as part of the FDA Safety and Innovation Act, ensuring that the blind and visually impaired have safe and independent access to the information on prescription drug labels. The law established a working group of pharmacists, patient advocates, and federal regulators that issued recommendations of best practices for pharmacies to ensure that people who are blind or visually-impaired have access to prescription drug labeling. The law also instructs the Government Accountability Office to analyze the degree to which pharmacists are adhering to the law and whether there continues to be a lack of access to prescription drug labeling for the blind and visually-impaired.

 

“I applaud Walgreens for taking this important step to help the millions of Americans who are blind or visually-impaired have safer and independent access to the information on their prescription drug labels,” said Senator Markey.  “Walgreens’s action underscores the purpose of my law - to help encourage pharmacies to partner and empower our visually impaired citizens to take full control of their health.  I encourage all pharmacies to adopt policies, technologies and services that are readily available and will help promote and protect the health of all customers.”