Talking prescription labels

Talking prescription labels 

Sara Massey, PharmD, MOBE

Over 3.4 million Americans over the age of 40 are considered legally blind or visually imparied. One company is attempting to improve patient safety within this population by expanding a unique pharmacy service.

Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies recently announced a service expansion of a labeling system, which will be offered nation-wide to patients. The labeling system is most beneficial for patients who are blind or visually impaired as the system allows for prescription labels to be read aloud to patients at home. This is done by placing a radio-frequency identification label to the bottom of the prescription bottle, which when combined with the En-Vision America’s ScripTalk Station, allows important information to be read aloud to the patient. The system reads aloud the patient’s name, prescription number, drug name, dosage, instructions for use, warnings, educational leaflet information, and pharmacy information. The ScripTalk Station and enhanced prescription labels are provided to patients free of charge. This service can be requested by a patient and the patient’s Walmart or Sam’s Club pharmacy will be equipped to dispense the ScriptTalk labels and station typically within 7-10 days. 

To date, Walmart and Sam’s Club are the first companies to expand these services nation-wide in the community setting. Most pharmacies are currently encouraging the use of auditory aid phone apps or making visual alterations to prescription labels including the addition of braille, large print, or color coding bottles based on the time of day medication is to be taken. The Walmart company has been working on the implementation of ScripTalk since 2012. During this time approximately 1,200 Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies have been equipped with the audible prescription label services. Moving forward, the company plans to expand this number by 25 stores each month within the coming years. 

All patients, especially those who have disabilities, need health professionals to actively advocate for them. Pharmacists can advocate for blind and visually impaired patients by encouraging and using the ScripTalk services while caring for these patients.

Reference: 

  1. Antrim A. Talking Prescription Labels Offered Nationally in Certain Pharmacies. Cranbury, NJ: Pharmacy Today; 2019.