Lawtons Drugs, Sobeys, Safeway, Thrifty Foods, Foodland, IGA (western Canada) and FreshCo pharmacies partner with En-Vision America to boost medication safety for low vision, blind and print-impaired pharmacy patients through ScripTalk; an innovative and accessible audible prescription label service
Empire and its family of brands, continue to lead the grocery retail sector in providing inclusive customer experiences as the first national pharmacy network in Canada to offer ScripTalk audible prescription labels in-store at its more than 420 pharmacy locations, including Lawtons Drugs, Sobeys, Safeway, Thrifty Foods, Foodland, IGA (western Canada) and FreshCo.
A first-of-its kind at the national level by a Canadian pharmacy network, this rollout offers Canadians reliable access to simple, innovative technology to improve independent management of prescription medication.
ScripTalk audible prescription labels enable blind, low vision or print-impaired pharmacy patients to hear important prescription label information free of charge using En-Vision America’s Pharmacy Freedom Program.
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 (i.e. an audible label). Patients can also access talking prescription labels by using En-Vision America’s mobile phone application that is compatible with the coded prescription labels.
“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.”
“This is the first time in Canada that a pharmacy chain is making ScripTalk available in-store, at all locations. Now blind and visually impaired patients can get ScripTalk labels over the counter, in-store. En-Vision America is excited to be partnering with Empire’s brands and supporting their commitment to prescription label access for everyone,” said Amanda Tolson, Director of Sales, En-Vision America, Inc.
"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. The ScripTalk audible prescription labels and readers are helping to overcome major issues that our community has struggled with for years. We're thrilled to see this innovative new technology being offered across all of Empire's banner pharmacies in Canada, including Sobeys, Safeway, FreshCo, and more."
“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 labelling. This puts them at risk for delays and misinformation when accessing their medications.