January 29, 2018
Beginning this month in Nevada, consumers with disabilities who request a prescription drug label reading device from their pharmacies will either be given one or be given directions on obtaining one owing to a new law passed last year.
According to the new law that Nevada passed with unanimous consent last year, Nevada’s pharmacies must offer, free of charge, talking prescription readers so their blind and visually impaired customers can access critical information from their prescription drug containers. The devices work in connection with special talking labels that pharmacists add to prescription medication containers.
Usually, prescription readers are paid for through private insurance, Medicaid, or Medicare, but Nevada’s new law targets consumers who are uninsured to ensure that that they too have access to this technology.
In 2012, Congress tasked NCD with a public awareness campaign regarding accessible drug labeling best practices under the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDSIA).
Section 904 of FDSIA authorized the U.S. Access Board to convene a stakeholder working group to develop these best practices. On July 2013, the working group convened by the U.S. Access Board released its list of best practices for making prescription drug container label information accessible to people who are blind or visually impaired or elderly. The best practices offered are advisory only.
NCD developed a trifold brochure summarizing these best practices and requested pharmacies and pharmacy associations disseminate the information to their affiliates and members. Individuals are welcome to print and utilize the brochure in conversations with their own local pharmacies to increase awareness of the best practices. NCD also released a radio public service announcement (PSA) about the best practices and placed it in several large city markets, which is available for download on NCD’s website.
For more information on the best practices; to listen to NCD's radio PSA; or to access NCD's brochure and other fact sheets, visit: https://ncd.gov/publications/2016/best-practices-accessible-prescription-drug-labeling