Walgreen Co. has rolled out a talking prescription device for pharmacy patients with visual impairments.

Walgreens, talking prescription device, Talking Pill Reminder, patients with visual impairments, pharmacy patients, pharmacy customers, Jeff Koziel, Walgreens drug stores, visually impaired customers, American Council of the Blind, Kim Charlson, Donna Pomerantz, California Council of the Blind, prescription labels

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Walgreens launches talking prescription device

June 3rd, 2014

DEERFIELD, Ill. – Walgreen Co. has rolled out a talking prescription device for pharmacy patients with visual impairments.

Walgreens is offering the device free to Rx patients who are blind or visually impaired. It's also being sold in stores.

Walgreens said Tuesday that it's the first in the industry to offer the device, called the Talking Pill Reminder, at its stores chainwide.

The Talking Pill Reminder attaches to prescription containers and will be provided free with prescriptions that Walgreens dispenses to its pharmacy customers who are blind or who have visual impairments. The device can hold a 30-second recording that speaks the information on the medication label, and it has an audible alarm to remind patients when to take the medication.

Walgreens said the Talking Pill Reminder is available to customers of retail pharmacies across the country and via its prescription mail service. The device also is sold in Walgreens drug stores and on Walgreens.com for $9.99.

"Adherence to medication can be critical in treating illness today, and this is an innovation that will help our visually impaired customers correctly identify and take medications as prescribed," Jeff Koziel, group vice president of pharmacy operations at Walgreens, said in a statement. "As part of our mission to help customers get, stay and live well, we're proud to have worked closely with other leading organizations to make the Talking Pill Reminder available across all of our more than 8,100 stores nationwide."

Walgreens noted that its introduction of the device stems from a collaboration with the American Council of the Blind (ACB) and its affiliates in California and Illinois.

"Accessible prescription information is critical to people who are blind, and with today's announcement, Walgreens assumes a significant leadership role in serving its customers with visual impairments," ACB president Kim Charlson stated.

Donna Pomerantz, president of the California Council of the Blind, pointed out that the device promotes safe medication use.

"Standard prescription labels put customers who are blind at risk for mixing up medications or taking them incorrectly," she explained. "For this reason, Walgreens' initiative is a matter of basic safety, and we congratulate the company on its efforts in this important area."

Besides the Talking Pill Reminder, Walgreens also provides large-print patient information sheets to customers who have visual impairments. The drug chain said its accessibility initiative helps visually impaired patients who have difficulty reading or are unable to read a standard prescription medication label.