With hundreds of advocates visiting Capitol Hill today to call on lawmakers to support his new legislation, Congressman Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) introduced H.R 4087 the Prescription Drug Labeling Promotion Act of 2012 to ensure that people who are blind or visually impaired have full access to the information included on their prescription drug labels. The legislation convenes a working group of pharmacy representatives, patient and consumer advocates, and federal regulators to develop guidance for pharmacists to ensure that the blind or visually impaired have safe, independent, and comprehensive access to their prescription drug information. The guidelines will provide pharmacies a range of options that could address the needs of their blind and visually-impaired customers, taking into account the challenges faced by smaller pharmacies.
"No one should have to sacrifice their independence or safety to take their medication," said Rep. Markey, senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee and author of the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act. "Being unable to read prescription labels can lead to unnecessary illness and added emergency room visits. The Prescription Drug Labeling Promotion Act helps turn pharmacies into partners for empowering all Americans to take full control of their health. It is another important step to ensure that individuals who are blind can fully participate in 21st century society."