Sample Letter to Board of Pharmacy for Accessible Labels for the Blind and Visually Impaired


To Whom It May Concern,

[Legislator] recently reintroduced [bill number] which would require pharmacies in [state] to provide audible, large print or Braille prescription labels as an accommodation for those who are visually impaired. No matter the outcome of this bill, [Our Organization] is requesting the [State] Board of Pharmacy create rules to require pharmacies in [state] to offer accessible labeling on prescription drugs. 

Creation of these rules would assist pharmacies in becoming compliant with the Affordable Care Act nondiscrimination clause in section 1557, the Americans with Disabilities Act effective communication provisions, and the US Access Board Best Practices for Making Prescription Drug Container Label Information Accessible to Persons Who are Blind or Visually-Impaired or Who are Elderly.  (See Code of Federal Regulations 28 CFR § 36.303 and 45 CFR § 92.202 and )

The CDC estimates that non-adherence to medication treatments cause 30 to 50% of the chronic disease treatment failures. Multiple health literacy studies have demonstrated that access to intelligible prescription label information increases adherence to medication treatment plans.

Managing complex medical conditions and multiple medications can be confusing and stressful even when you have all necessary information at your disposal. It can also become dangerous when you can’t read prescription label instructions or identify prescription errors.  Patient caused medication errors are a major reason for emergency room visits and hospitalization causing millions of dollars of unnecessary healthcare expenses and injuries.

For over 25 million Americans age 65 and older who have low-vision or are blind this is an everyday danger. Communication and equitable access to vital prescription information is a key component to reducing errors. These medication errors are avoidable with basic accessible labeling accommodations.

[This is a good place to insert your personal example if you like]

The underlying causes of health inequity are diverse and complex and often very hard to address, but here is a situation where it is very easy to identify and rectify the problem with a concrete solution of accessible labeling. Let’s make sure [our state’s] pharmacy standards are protecting the most vulnerable and eliminating the root causes of health inequities in our health system.