AARP: Talking Labels Aid the Blind with Prescriptions

Talking Labels Aid the Blind with Prescriptions

Other services also can help the visually impaired avoid life-threatening mistakes

prescription bottles that have r f i ds that can be read by scrip talks device to tell name of your medicine and other details

As some people age, they may have trouble reading prescription labels, knowing what dose to take and identifying proper pills.

Mistakes can have life-threatening consequences. The challenge is exacerbated for folks who don’t see well or have a severe visual impairment though some blind people have learned to figure out which pill is which by feeling its shape or texture.

Let the label do the talking

Many pharmacies are introducing other options that promise to be far more reliable: letting a prescription label tell you what’s in the bottle, including drug names, dosage, warnings and other information. More precisely, you’ll hear the words read aloud through a standalone speaker — or your iPhone or Android handset via an app.

“I would like to see this become ubiquitous across the pharmacy landscape,” says Eric Bridges, executive director of the American Council of the Blind in Arlington, Virginia.

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Hy-Vee Announces They are Now Offering Talking and Large Print Prescription Labels in 26 Languages

Hy-Vee, Inc. announced December 17, 2021 that talking prescription labels are now available in 26 languages to visually- and print-impaired patients at Hy-Vee’s more than 275 Hy-Vee Pharmacy locations.

In addition to English, the talking prescription labels can be translated to 25 other languages upon request. Patients who request this option will receive large-print dual-language prescription labels that feature a high contrast font in English, as well as a translation from one of the 25 other languages. These labels can also be read aloud in the selected language via the free ScripTalk reader or free ScripTalk mobile app.

“We are on a mission to make health care services more accessible for our patients,” said Kristin Williams, executive vice president and chief health officer for Hy-Vee. “Through our partnership with En-Vision America, we now offer a solution to help improve the health outcomes for our visually- and print-impaired patients, along with our non-English speaking patients who often face language barriers to health care.”

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Spoken Rx "Talking" Prescription Labels Now Available in All CVS Pharmacy Locations


CVS Pharmacy is now offering Spoken Rx, its proprietary audio prescription label solution, in all its nearly 10,000 pharmacy locations nationwide, including more than 1,700 CVS Pharmacy locations within Target. Developed in collaboration with the American Council of the Blind, Spoken Rx is a technology that allows patients to have their prescription information read aloud, designed for those with visual impairments and those who cannot read standard print labels. It is available at no extra cost to patients.

"We continue to remove barriers to health care for all patients, and this in-app technology furthers our commitment by providing patients added flexibility and independence," said Jared Tancrelle, Senior Vice President, Store Operations at CVS Health. "Our patients are increasingly digitally connected, so digital tools like Spoken Rx are a priority for us as we listen to feedback and adapt our suite of pharmacy services and programs to ensure we're best meeting the needs of all consumers."

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New York Times Highlights Specialty Pharmacy Services for the Blind

 A pill container with a tag on its bottom, programmed to include medication information, is synced to a smartphone. It can read the information aloud using an app called ScripTalk, used by people with limited sight.

Specialty Pharmacies Cater to the Blind and Those With Impaired Vision

The pandemic has exposed flaws in services for people who can’t easily access a drive-through window for Covid shots or testing or can’t read prescription labels.

Read the Full New York Times article by Joshua Brockman

NFB 2021 Break Out Session: Accessible Prescription Labeling Legislation Timeline and Current Events

A brief overview of the history of accessible prescription labeling standards development and legislation followed by overview of current bills in various states. This presentation was given during the National Federation of the Blind's annual 2021 Convention.

Health & Well Being Webinar

A conversation about vision loss resources, managing diabetes with vision loss, and maintaining your mental health well being.

Seminario de Bienestar y Salud: 4 Maneras de Vivir la Vida al Máximo con Pérdida de Visión

Ya sea que usted está perdiendo su visión o solo está buscando como hacer cambios a su vida, obtener ideas nuevas o recursos que le puedan ayudar. Estamos trayendo seis panelistas que son personas apasionadas a su trabajo y discutirán sobre trucos y herramientas para manejar su vida con pérdida de visión.

Translation: "Health and Wellness Seminar: 4 Ways to Live Life to the Fullest with Vision Loss" Whether you are losing your vision or just looking to make changes in your life, get new ideas or resources that can help you. We are bringing six passionate panelists together to discuss tips and tools to manage your life with vision loss.

The Safety Benefits of Dual Language Prescription Labels

As the U.S. population of Limited English Proficiency (LEP) residents grows, several state legislatures have enacted laws requiring pharmacies to provide prescription labels in the language of the patient’s choice to ensure medication safety and adherence.

The author of a recent blog published by Pharmacy Times, highlights some of the benefits these multi-lingual labels can provide patients. For example, these labels can help drive down patient medication-related errors and drive up medication adherence as patients better understand label instructions.

For a full look at this article, click here.

5 Moments for Medication Safety

WHO has also developed an easy to navigate Medsafe app that helps patients and caregivers to review and ask key questions during the 5 Moments for Medication Safety. The app is available on the Google play store and Apple App store.

5 Moments for Medication Safety: Starting, Taking, Adding, Reviewing, Stopping

The WHO Global Patient Safety Challenge: Medication without Harm was formally launched in 2017 and continues to strive toward the goal of reducing and eliminating medication related harm. 

Doctors, pharmaceutical companies, pharmacies, patients, and caregivers all work together to be more aware and take action to eliminate risk factors.  More ideas and information are available on the WHO website: 

Honorable Santiago Negrón Introduces Talking Prescription Bill to Puerto Rico Senate



Honorable María de Lourdes Santiago Negrón has introduced bill PS 0287 to require talking prescription labels for the blind and visually impaired.  "...the indicators used by the Puerto Rico Institute of Statistics, according to data generated by the U.S. Census Bureau, estimate that people with severe vision problems or blindness represent 6.1% of the population [of Puerto Rico]. This represents a total of 214,000 people with severe visual impairment or blindness, which is equivalent to a population greater than the total number of inhabitants of the municipality of Bayamón." If passed this legislation would require pharmacies to provide talking prescription labels to assist in the safe management of medication for people who are blind and visually impaired.  For more information about the bill's text and status visit:

Maine Board of Pharmacy to Conduct Review of Available Pharmacy Accommodations in the State

Maine House Bill 172 passed as amended, requiring the evaluation by the Board of Pharmacy of existing accommodations available to persons who are visually impaired to access prescription information. By January 15, 2022, the Maine Board of Pharmacy shall submit a report, including suggested legislation, based on its evaluation to the Joint Standing Committee on Health Coverage, Insurance and Financial Services.
The board shall gather information from pharmacies, including the number of persons who are visually impaired served by that pharmacy, the accommodations currently provided by that pharmacy and any barriers for a pharmacy to provide accommodations requested by a person who is visually impaired.

Two Oregon Nurses Explain Why Dual-Language Prescription Labels Improve Safety & Adherence

Two Oregon nurses explain why it is vital that pharmacies provide prescription labels in the language their Limited English Proficiency patients are most comfortable understanding. 

Kristen Beiers-Jones, RN, MN, from the Oregon Health Science University School of Nursing; and Kate Ballard, BSN, RN, have both worked directly with patients who speak English as a Second Language and struggle to understand their prescription label information. They've witnessed the errors that can occur and are leading a movement to improve patient safety for those with Limited English Proficiency through dual language medication labeling. 

For more information, email the nurses at