President’s Message: More on Accessible Prescription Labels, by Kim Charlson
Once again, ACB has advocated with a major pharmacy company to provide a full range of accessible prescription options – large print, braille and audio for people who are blind. CVS Health now offers the ScripAbility prescription accessibility system through its mail-service pharmacy to CVS/Caremark members who are blind or visually impaired. The system includes ScripTalk talking prescription labels as well as braille and large print labels. Back in March of 2014, CVS Health announced that ScripTalk talking labels were available from their online pharmacy, CVS.com, for prescriptions ordered for home delivery.
CVS/Caremark has now expanded its offerings to its blind and visually impaired customers and members. The ScripTalk talking labels provide a safe and convenient way to access information on prescription labels for individuals who cannot read standard print. The ScripTalk labels are free to CVS/Caremark members who are blind or visually impaired. Caremark members can obtain a free ScripTalk reader from En-Vision America that will enable them to listen to the information on the ScripTalk label.
According to the official press release, Jon Roberts, president of CVS/Caremark, stated, “We are pleased to further demonstrate our commitment to providing our visually impaired members and patients with enhanced support by offering them the ScripTalk service through our mail-order pharmacy. Ensuring all of our members have access to important information about their prescriptions is in keeping with our purpose of helping people on their path to better health.”
This structured negotiation agreement is the result of collaboration between CVS Health, the American Council of the Blind, and several CVS/Caremark members. Access to prescription label information through audio, large print or braille is essential for the safety and independence of customers who are blind or visually impaired. I commend CVS Health on its efforts in this important area, and for its leadership role within the industry to more effectively serve its customers with visual impairments.
Customers can sign up for CVS/Caremark services or request a product from the ScripAbility suite of formats by contacting Caremark’s call center at 1-800-552-8159 or 1-800-450-3755.
I’ve been a CVS/Caremark customer for several years, and I think the braille labels and medication information sheets that I receive in braille are great. Now with the ScripTalk system, people relying on audio have access to vital information about their medications. Large-print users also have better labeling that they can actually read, along with the medication information sheet. This access is great, but I do realize that many people also need access at their neighborhood pharmacies. ACB is working in this area as well, but there are many challenges to overcome in the production process for individual pharmacy locations. We will continue to work on this level of access, and keep you posted on our progress. In the meantime, enjoy CVS/Caremark for their prompt mail-order service, affordable pricing, and accessibility. You won’t want to go back to the guessing game of medication bottles without labels ever again!