October 31, 2012

pill bottleThe Board is undertaking an initiative to improve access to prescription drug labels. As part of this effort, the Board has organized a stakeholder working group to develop best practices for making information on prescription drug container labels accessible to people who are blind or visually impaired or who are elderly. This group includes representatives from advocacy organizations and from industry, including the:

  • American Council of the Blind
  • American Foundation for the Blind
  • AARP
  • Blinded Veterans Association
  • Council of Citizens with Low Vision International
  • CVS/ Caremark
  • Express Scripts
  • Metro Washington Association of the Deaf Blind
  • National Community Pharmacists Association
  • National Council on Aging
  • National Council on Independent Living
  • National Council on Patient Information and Education
  • National Federation of the Blind
  • Rite Aid
  • Target
  • U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention
  • Wal-Mart
  • Walgreens

The working group will develop best practices for pharmacies on providing independent access to prescription drug container labels. Various alternatives will be explored, including braille, large print labels, and auditory technologies such as "talking bottles" and radio frequency identification tags. The Board gained the responsibility to address this issue under the "Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act" which was signed into law in July. The law also calls upon the National Council on Disability to conduct an informational and educational campaign in cooperation with the stakeholder working group to inform the public, including people with disabilities and pharmacists, of the best practices.

For further information, contact Susan Crawford at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (202) 272-0029 (v), or (202) 272-0082 (TTY). Those interested in this initiative can sign up to receive further updates.

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