Monday, April 11, 2016

The pharmaceutical equivalent of curb cuts

The pharmaceutical equivalent of curb cuts: audible prescription labels.

Remember years ago when street codes started requiring curb cuts for accessibility by wheelchairs? Remember how all the curb cuts also now get used for strollers, shopping carts, wheeled briefcases, and all kinds of conveyances besides wheelchairs. RantWoman thinks that audible prescription labels are going to wind up being similarly popular.

RantWoman offers the following testimonial edited from an item in her morning email stream:

New audible prescription service offered by Rite Aid. After many phone calls and a discussion as to whether or not the audible prescriptions are free to those who are Blind, I now have my first three audible prescription bottle of charge.

Here are a few details. The speaker is in what looks like a thick, over sized lid. The device comes with but takes a watch type battery. The device can be used as both a timer for medication reminders depending on how the dial is set...for how often you need to take it. It can also be programmed with the prescription information; the information is not a computer type voice done by down loading the information onto the chop from the computer. It is recorded into it by the pharmacist or person needing the prescription. There is a dot on the top of the cap that is simply pressed once and the audible instructions will be said. ...The cap is pretty chunky and I'm sure intended to be attached to the lid of the bottle; however because of its weight, the bottle could be a little less sturdy.
Once prescription I have is only obtained by a paper script and doesn't really have a refill number or expiration date on it, so I decided to place the device on the bottom of the bottle. This would not work however if you need to change the prescription monthly as you would need the refill number and definitely the expiration date to be available to each at all times. The intention is for it to be attached to the lid so that as you change bottles or prescriptions, you can simply change the lid from bottle to bottle; whether a completely new medication and programming in new instructions or to the same medication but with a different refill/expiration date. The audible device is attached to the lid with an extremely sticky adhesive strip.

I was initially told it was not available to me, something I knew wasn't true. Then I was told they had it, but it wasn't ready yet. Well there really wasn't anything to be ready. it was not a program they needed to get onto their system, just a separate recordable cap. Next I was told they had it but it was going to cost me $9.95 per cap and I knew that couldn't be true. It took me contacting a few people and calling back to my pharmacy on a regular basis to get it sorted. I now have them and am told I can go and get more whenever needed.

RantWoman understands that pharmacies may need a couple tries to recognize that there are various options for audible labels and different pharmacies use different brands. Drug mistakes cost the healthcare system billions of dollars / year. Plent y of people besides blind people cannot read their medication labels and would benefit from audible labels. As far as RantWoman is concerned,  NO ONE should have to pay for audible labels because if everyone who needed them used them, they would probably pay for themselves many times over in other reduced costs to the health care system.


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