Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Who Knows About Accessible Prescriptions? Your Guess is as Good as Mine.

Way back on July 10, 2013, the Working Group on Accessible Prescriptions submitted to the U.S. Board its best practices for pharmacies for providing independent access to prescription medications.  Thes best practices call for multiple accessible formats, including Braille, large print, audible formats.  The complete list of best practices and guidelines can be found at:  http://www.access-board.gov/guidelines-and-standards/health-care/about-prescription-drug-container-labels/working-group-recommendations

The FDA Safety and Innovation Act requires the National Council on Disability (NCD) to conduct an information and education campaign in cooperation with the working group.  This campaign is to ensure that pharmacies and the public are made aware of the needs for the visually impaired community and what these best practice are.

One would think that over the next year consumers and pharmacies will be inundated with educational materials from the NCD.  But, we all know the way time slips by.  We all know that oftentimes complacency is king.  And with little activity since the Best Practices were issued, I'm beginning to wonder whether this will be the case.

Let's not get down the road another year only to find out that few pharmacies are following (or even know about) these best practices.  Information can be a barrier.  Let's remove that wall!  Each one of us (working group members included) must be charged with pushing information to pharmacies and the public.  We need to ensure the NCD is working hard on dissemination of this information.  Each one of us must do our part to make sure the wonderful efforts of the Access Board are not in vain.
Working group members that include:
·         AARP
·         American Council of the Blind (ACB)
·         American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)
·         Blinded Veterans Association (BVA)
·         Council of Citizens with Low Vision International (CCLVI)
·         Express Scripts
·         Metropolitan Washington Association of the Deaf Blind (MWADB)
·         National Association of Chain Drug Stores
·         National Community Pharmacists Association
·         National Council on Aging (NCOA)
·         National Council on Independent Living (NCIL)
·         National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE)
·         National Federation of the Blind (NFB)
·         Rite-Aid
·         Target
·         US Pharmacopeia (USP)
·         Walgreens
·         Wal-Mart

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