Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies recently announced a move to help blind and visually impaired customers through En-Vision America’s ScriptTalk audible prescription labels which are available at nearly 1,200 pharmacies.
Walmart said it is adding up to 25 pharmacies with the capability each month, with 750 pharmacies added in the past three years. Walmart and Sam’s Club equip a pharmacy to provide ScripTalk with a patient’s request for audible prescription labels. Once a pharmacy is equipped, usually within a week to 10 days, the pharmacy provides ScripTalk labels to patients requesting them at no charge and without lengthy delays.
Customers need to get the small battery-operated device called a ScriptTalk Station which is provided at no charge, according to Walmart.
“The ScripTalk system is important to providing convenient and safe healthcare for our customers,” said JoAnn Stevens, senior director of health & wellness compliance at Walmart. “We are proud of this technology is available at Walmart and Sam’s Club locations across the nation, and we look forward to adding more locations as patients ask for this free service at their local Walmart or Sam’s Club pharmacy. This service is free and available at all U.S. locations upon request.”
The technology used in the system uses an RFID label the pharmacy places on the bottom of the bottle. A customer places the bottle on the device and the machine scans and reads the label aloud. Customers can get the drug name, dosage information, prescription number and refill information as well as warnings, educational material and pharmacy information.
En-Vision America developed the ScriptTalk labeling system to help thousands of consumers with serious vision deficits to take charge of their health. The company said more than 20,000 individuals are already using the ScriptTalk system.
“It’s very user-friendly, as it only has three buttons on the top for operations and the on/off button is a wheel that’s at the front and it also controls the volume. So it works with text-to-speech technology and RFID, which is radio frequency identification,” said Amanda Tolson, Director of Sales at En-Vision America.
“And the pharmacy puts a special label on the prescription that’s RFID, it has all the text of a prescription programmed into it,” she added. “Then the device simply uses text-to-speech technology to then read back all that information to the user out loud.”
Tolson said the company’s relationship with Walmart and Sam’s Club began during a pilot program in 2012. The technology went from being in just three test locations, to the mail-order pharmacy, to the about 1,200 locations it is in right now.
“This is the first time that Walmart and Sam’s Club has come out publicly and said we are making this available to anybody who asks for it,” Tolson said.
Tolson said all the feedback she’s received has been very positive.
“Some of the feedback I’ve got is ‘this has changed my life.’ ‘I can finally manage my own medications and it’s brought me independence that I’ve never had.’ ‘It’s given me the safety to do that.’ I’ve heard stories of parents who are blind and visually impaired, they were at risk of having their children removed from the home because they were unable to administer medications safely. And they were able to get ScripTalk and successfully keep their family intact,” she said.
“So that was a huge, huge, just amazing, great feeling that we got that we were able to help this family and keep them intact with these services. Because they’re free to the user and anybody that needs them. That was definitely something we were able to provide to them.”
Source: En-Vision America