Resolution 2017 -04 National Federation of the Blind of Maryland

Regarding Accessible Rx Labels



WHEREAS, while living the life we want, blind persons have the responsibility for managing our own health as well as the health of others; and


WHEREAS, this care often requires access to important information printed on prescription labels; and


WHEREAS, the U.S. Access Board has published pharmacy best practices, which it adopted in 2013,  for making medication labels accessible; and


WHEREAS, these best practices call for providing timely access to all information on a prescription label including warnings in audio, Braille, or large print media at no extra charge to the blind individual; and


WHEREAS, the application of these practices is neither financially nor administratively burdensome as demonstrated by James Pharmacy, a local pharmacy in Baltimore, as well as Rite Aid pharmacies, that willingly and eagerly provide this information to blind customers; and


WHEREAS, too many pharmacies in Maryland either neglect or refuse to provide this important access to their blind customers; and


WHEREAS, this neglect or refusal unnecessarily endangers the health of thousands of individuals, including the blind themselves, as well as children and others under their care: Now, therefore,


BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Maryland in Convention assembled this twelfth day of November, 2017, in the city of Towson, Maryland, that this organization commend the responsive and responsible pharmacies such as James Pharmacy and Rite Aid pharmacies for voluntarily providing accessible Rx labels to their customers; and


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization condemn and deplore the behavior of pharmacies such as Northern Pharmacy in Baltimore, for repeatedly refusing to accommodate customers with disabilities by failing to provide accessible labeling, which disrespects and endangers the lives of their blind customers; and


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we strongly urge the Maryland Secretary of Health to take immediate action and require all pharmacies in Maryland that profit from state and federal health dollars to respect the health and safety needs of Maryland’s blind and low vision citizens by requiring pharmacies to follow industry best practices for the provision of such labels; and


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we strongly urge the State of Maryland to refuse to conduct business with any pharmacies that will not adopt best practices in accessible prescription labels for our blind and low vision citizens.