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Sobeys And Lawtons Drugs Introduce Talking Prescription Labels

A first-of-its kind by a Canadian pharmacy network at a national level, Lawtons Drugs and Sobeys will be offering ScripTalk audible prescription labels to enable blind, low vision or print-impaired pharmacy patients to hear important prescription label information free of charge.

With ScripTalk, pharmacists are able to code prescription labels with RFID or Radio Frequency Identification technology. Patients can then use a small, hand-held, base prescription reader called the ScripTalk Station Reader, available free of charge, to hear important prescription information and instructions read aloud.

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“We’re proud to offer ScripTalk at all of our pharmacies across the country. ScripTalk is an easy-to-use yet innovative technology that is breaking barriers for those who are blind, have experienced vision loss, or are otherwise not able to read vital prescription information,” said Jim Johnston, Vice President of Operations In-Store Pharmacy, Sobeys Inc. “With this technology, we’re empowering our patients to independently manage their medications safely at our pharmacies, in their homes, or wherever they may be.”

“We at the Canadian Council of the Blind are very pleased to be working with Empire and its family of brands to make prescriptions and important medical information more accessible for those of us who are unable to read or have difficulty reading medication labels,” said Louise Gillis CCB President. “ScripTalk provides independence for people with print disabilities.”

“Reading the fine print on prescriptions has been a longstanding barrier for Canadians who are blind or partially sighted, resulting in accidental overdoses and other serious medication errors,” says John Rafferty, Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) Foundation’s president and CEO. “With Sobeys’ new talking labels, individuals with sight loss are now able to manage their medications more safely and independently.”

The CNIB Foundation estimates that there are 1.5 million people living with sight loss in Canada, ranging from mild to very severe sight loss. This population is currently underserved with limited pharmacy-provided options for accessible prescription labeling. This puts them at risk for delays and misinformation when accessing their medications.

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