Audible prescription labels by En-Vision America are arriving in more than 420 Canadian pharmacies, following a successful rollout in Walmart and Sam's Club pharmacies across the United States. The Empire family of brands is the first national pharmacy network in Canada to offer ScripTalk technology, according to the En-Vision America.1

Empire’s rollout offers more Canadians access to ScripTalk technology, which is designed to improve independent management of prescription medication. The service will be available in all of Empire’s in-store and standalone pharmacies,1 including those at Lawtons Drugs, Sobeys, Safeway, Thrifty Foods, Foodland, IGA (western Canada), and FreshCo stores.1-2

In 2019, ScripTalk audible prescription labels became available nationally in the United States with approximately 1200 Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies, in addition to more than 750 pharmacies equipped in the past 3 years. An average of 25 additional Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies are set up to provide ScripTalk labels each month.3

ScripTalk audible prescription labels enable pharmacy patients with vision or print impairment to hear important prescription label information using En-Vision America’s Pharmacy Freedom Program. There is no cost to the patient to utilize the service.2

“Prescription label information including the instructions and warnings is critical for everyone. Lack of access to this information leads to big problems for those with vision or print impairments. A talking format helps these patients to understand and take their medications safely. With the ScripTalk technology, major errors and mix-ups are being greatly reduced,” said David Raistrick, vice president and CEO of En-Vision America in an email to Pharmacy Times.4

With ScripTalk, pharmacists are able to code prescription labels with Radio Frequency Identification (RIFD) 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 (i.e. an audible label), according to the company press release.2

Patients can also access talking prescription labels by using En-Vision America’s mobile phone application that is compatible with the coded prescription labels.1

Louise Gillis, president of Canadian Council of the Blind, said that the organization is working with Empire to make prescriptions and medical information more accessible to those who are unable to read or have difficulty reading medication labels. She said the council is thrilled at the expanded accessibility of the audible prescription technology.

“ScripTalk provides independence for people with print disabilities. The ScripTalk audible prescription labels and readers are helping to overcome major issues that our community has struggled with for years,” said Gillis, in a press release.1-2

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, putting them at risk for delays and misinformation when accessing their medications.1-2


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REFERENCES
  1. Empire Company Limited to Provide Accessible Prescription Labels In-Store Across All Brands in Canada [news release]. Palmetto, FL; February 6, 2020: En-Vision America website. https://www.envisionamerica.com/empire-company-limited-to-provide-accessible-prescription-labels-in-storeacross-all-brands-in-canada/ Accessed February 9, 2020.
  2. Talking labels makes prescriptions easier to access for the visually impaired at pharmacies across Empire's family of brands [news release] Stellarton, NS. Published February 6, 2020. https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/talking-labels-makes-prescriptions-easier-to-access-for-the-visually-impaired-at-pharmacies-across-empire-s-family-of-brands-82486159html. Accessed February 6, 2020.
  3. Raistrick, David. Interview with Pharmacy Times. Conducted February 6, 2020.
  4. Antrim, Aislinn. Talking Prescriptions Labels Offered Nationally in Certain Pharmacies. Pharmacy Times. Published July 19, 2019. https://www.pharmacytimes.com/sap-news/talking-prescription-labels-offered-nationally-in-certain-pharmacies. Accessed February 6, 2020.