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On Stay Safe Rx you will find current events and resources advocating for safe prescription labeling practices. When patients struggle to see, read or understand their prescription labels they are more likely to take the wrong medication, take it improperly, or not take it at all. Pharmacies can make prescription labels more accessible by incorporating dual-language, audible, large print, Braille, plain language, and user-friendly designs. Check out the resources in the side bar to assist your own advocacy efforts or browse through posts to see what others are working on or have achieved.

Illinios and Colorado Introduce Accessible Labeling Legislation

Colorado state seal and Illinios state seal
In Colorado Representative Mary Young along with Representatives Junie Joseph and Steve Fenberg, introduced HB24-1115 Prescription Drug Label Accessibility Bill at the behest of the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado. A similar pill was introduced and dropped previously in 2020 mid pandemic.

As introduced HB24-1115 bill requires a pharmacy to provide an individual who has difficulty seeing or reading standard printed labels on prescription drug containers with access to the prescription drug label information by:

  • Including an electronic label affixed to the prescription drug container that transmits the prescription drug's label information, directions, and written instructions to an end user's external accessible device, including an individual's compatible prescription drug reader;
  • Providing a prescription drug reader at no cost to the individual;
  • Providing a prescription drug label in braille or large print; or
  • Providing the individual with a method recommended by the United States access board.

The state pharmacy board may exempt from the requirements of the bill a pharmacy that is a sole proprietorship with no more than 2 pharmacists for which, upon request of the pharmacy, the board determines compliance would create an undue burden.

In early stakeholder meetings pharmacy representatives asked for clarification and amendment to the waiver clause to include all independent pharmacies, however NFB of Colorado members said that would allow for so many exemptions, access would still be hindered considerably.

Meanwhile, in Illinois, representative Kevin Olickal, who represents the Skokie and Lincolnwood area, introduced a similar bill HB5055. This is the first bill of it's kind in Illinois.  It is awaiting assignment to committee.