The Access Board has lead the effort to develop guidance on making prescription drug labels accessible to people with vision impairments.
The Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act of 2012 includes measures to promote drug safety and to improve FDA procedures for reviewing new medicines and medical devices.
A provision of the act (§904) authorized the Board to convene 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. This group included equal representation from advocacy organizations and from industry, collaborated to develop best practices for pharmacies on providing independent access to prescription drug container labels. The working group explored various alternatives, including braille, large print labels, and various auditory technologies such as “talking bottles” and radio frequency identification tags.
The group’s recommendations, are advisory only, and will not have the force of guidelines or standards.
On July 10, 2013, the Access Board released its report, Best Practices for Making Prescription Drug Container Label Information Accessible to Persons Who are Blind or Visually-Impaired or Who are Elderly
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. The Government Accountability Office will undertake a review at a later date to assess the extent to which pharmacies are following the best practices and to what extent barriers to information on prescription drug container labels remain