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Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Walgreens Now Offering Talking Prescription Devices

Prescription pills scattered around
Image by DraconianRain on Flickr

From The Wall Street Journal:

Walgreens, the nation's largest drugstore chain today announced the launch of a nationwide program offering talking prescription devices to customers with visual impairments. The initiative introduces a new service that complements other accessible prescription information Walgreens currently provides. 

Walgreens is the first in the industry to offer this exclusive talking prescription device, called the Talking Pill Reminder, at its retail locations chainwide. The device attaches to prescription containers and will be provided free of charge with prescription medications that Walgreens dispenses to its pharmacy customers who are blind or who have visual impairments. The Talking Pill Reminder can be recorded to speak the information on the customer's prescription medication label, and also has an audible alarm to remind patients when to take a medication. 

The Talking Pill Reminder is available to customers of Walgreens retail pharmacies across the country and through Walgreens prescription mail service. The devices also are available in Walgreens drugstores for purchase for a retail price of $9.99. 

"Adherence to medication can be critical in treating illness today, and this is an innovation that will help our visually impaired customers correctly identify and take medications as prescribed," said Jeff Koziel, Walgreens group vice president of pharmacy operations. "As part of our mission to help customers get, stay and live well, we're proud to have worked closely with other leading organizations to make the Talking Pill Reminder available across all of our more than 8,100 stores nationwide." 

The initiative is the result of a collaboration between Walgreens, The American Council of the Blind (ACB) and the ACB affiliates in California and Illinois. All partnering organizations praised the Walgreens announcement. 

"Accessible prescription information is critical to people who are blind, and with today's announcement, Walgreens assumes a significant leadership role in serving its customers with visual impairments," said ACB President Kim Charlson. 

Illinois Council of the Blind representative Ray Campbell commended Walgreens initiative, saying, "So many of our members and ACB members across the country value Walgreens excellent customer service. The company's rollout of the Talking Pill Reminder gives them yet another reason to make Walgreens their pharmacy of choice." 

California Council of the Blind President Donna Pomerantz said, "Standard prescription labels put customers who are blind at risk for mixing up medications or taking them incorrectly. For this reason, Walgreens initiative is a matter of basic safety, and we congratulate the company on its efforts in this important area." 

In addition to providing the Talking Pill Reminder, Walgreens also offers large print patient information sheets to customers who have visual impairments.
Walgreens accessibility initiative will help people with visual impairments who have difficulty or are unable to read a standard prescription medication label.

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