FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 12, 2020
Talking labels makes prescriptions easier to access for the visually impaired at pharmacies across Empire’s family of brands
Lawtons Drugs, Sobeys, Safeway, Thrifty Foods, Foodland, IGA (western Canada) and FreshCo pharmacies partner with En-Vision America to boost medication safety for low vision, blind and print-impaired pharmacy patients through ScripTalk; an innovative and accessible audible prescription label service
Stellarton, NS – Empire and its family of brands, continue to lead the grocery retail sector in providing inclusive customer experiences as the first national pharmacy network in Canada to offer ScripTalk audible prescription labels at all its in-store and stand-alone pharmacy locations, including Lawtons Drugs, Sobeys, Safeway, Thrifty Foods, Foodland, IGA (western Canada) and FreshCo.
A first-of-its kind at the national level by a Canadian pharmacy network, this rollout offers Canadians reliable access to simple, innovative technology to improve independent management of prescription medication.
ScripTalk audible prescription labels enable blind, low vision or print-impaired pharmacy patients to hear important prescription label information free of charge using En-Vision America’s Pharmacy Freedom Program.
With ScripTalk, pharmacists are able to code prescription labels with RFID or Radio Frequency Identification technology. Patients can then use a small, hand-held, base prescription reader called the ScripTalk Station Reader, available free of charge, to hear important prescription information and instructions read aloud (i.e. an audible label). Patients can also access talking prescription labels by using En-Vision America’s mobile phone application that is compatible with the coded prescription labels.
“We’re proud to offer ScripTalk at all of our pharmacies across the country. ScripTalk is an easy-to-use yet innovative technology that is breaking barriers for those who are blind, have experienced vision loss, or are otherwise not able to read vital prescription information,” said Vivek Sood, Executive Vice President, Related Business, Sobeys Inc. “With this technology, we’re empowering our patients to independently manage their medications safely at our pharmacies, in their homes, or wherever they may be.”
“We at the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB) are very pleased to be working with Empire and its family of brands to make prescriptions and important medical information more accessible for those of us who are unable to read or have difficulty reading medication labels. ScripTalk provides independence for people with print disabilities. The ScriptTalk audible prescription labels and readers are helping to overcome major issues that our community has struggled with for years. We’re thrilled to see this innovative new technology being offered across all of Empire’s banner pharmacies in Canada, including Safeway, FreshCo, and more,” Said Louise Gillis, CCB National President.
CCB’s Louise Gillis went on to say, “With Sobeys’ new talking labels, individuals with sight loss are now able to manage their medications more safely and independently. The CCB estimates that there are 1.5 million Canadians living with vision loss, ranging from partial sight to total blindness. This population is seriously underserved with limited accessible pharmacy provided options for prescription labels. This puts them at risk for misinformation when accessing the pharmaceutical information on the attached labels.”
All Empire banner pharmacy locations across Canada, including Lawtons Drug Stores, and in-store pharmacies located in Sobeys, Safeway, Thrifty Foods, Foodland, IGA (western Canada) and FreshCo banners have implemented the ScripTalk service.
Empire Company Limited (TSX: EMP.A) is a Canadian company headquartered in Stellarton, Nova Scotia. Empire’s key businesses are food retailing, through wholly-owned subsidiary Sobeys Inc., and related real estate. With approximately $25.6 billion in annualized sales and $13.8 billion in assets, Empire and its subsidiaries, franchisees and affiliates employ approximately 123,000 people.
Sobeys National Pharmacy
Sobeys National Pharmacy has more than 420 pharmacies across Canada, including Sobeys, Safeway, Thrifty Foods, FreshCo and Lawtons Drugs pharmacies; each with a dedicated team to help you manage your medication and health care needs. From advice on what to take for a cough or cold to helping you manage a new prescription medication, our teams are committed to providing convenient and personalized services for your family’s health and wellbeing.
About En-Vision America
En-Vision America, a Palmetto, Fla.-based company, provides high-tech products aimed at solving problems for individuals with disabilities. The company has spearheaded many innovations relating to labeling including voice-enabled products like i.d. mate, the talking bar code reader, and ScriptAbility, which includes talking prescription labels, Braille, large print, dual language and Controlled Substance Safety Labels (CSSLs). Originally founded by Philip C. and David B. Raistrick in 1996, the cornerstone of the company is based on one single premise: To provide those with disabilities equal access and greater independence through technology. Today, more than 20,000 individuals are using ScripTalk. For additional information, visit www.envisionamerica.com.
The CCB was founded in 1944 by a coalition of blind war veterans, schools of the blind and local chapters to create a national self-governing organization. The CCB was incorporated by Letters Patent on May 10, 1950 and is a registered charity under the provisions of the Income Tax Act (Canada).
The purpose of the CCB is to give people with vision loss a distinctive and unique perspective before governments. CCB deals with the ongoing effects of vision loss by encouraging active living and rehabilitation through peer support and social and recreational activities.
CCB promotes measures to conserve sight, create a close relationship with the sighted community and provide employment opportunities.
The CCB recognizes that vision loss has no boundaries with respect to gender, income, ethnicity, culture, other disabilities or age.
The CCB understands in many instances vision loss is preventable and sometimes is symptomatic of other health issues. For the 21st century, the CCB is committed to an integrated proactive health approach for early detection to improve the quality of life for all Canadians.
As the largest membership organization of the blind and partially sighted in Canada the CCB is the “Voice of the Blind™”.
For further information, please contact:
External Communications and Corporate Affairs