In addition to the nine pharmacy chains (listed below) which currently offer accessible prescription medication information (APMI), Walmart Canada is now offering this service at no charge to its pharmacy customers in British Columbia effective February 2017. Walmart pharmacies in BC join a growing number of pharmacy chains offering APMI at no additional cost to the consumer. These pharmacies include:
- Bulkley Valley Wholesale
- Coopers Foods
- London Drugs
- Overwaitea Foods
- Peoples Drug Mart
- Pricesmart Foods
- Save-On Foods
- Shoppers Drug Mart
- Urban Fare
These pharmacies have begun to provide prescription information through an audio label affixed to the prescription bottle. Accessing the audio information is as simple as placing the prescription bottle atop a ScripTalk Reader and pressing a single button. The Reader will then announce the critical prescription information that your pharmacist has encoded into an RFID label, which will include:
- Patient’s name
- Name and strength of medication
- Dosage instructions
- Prescribing doctor’s name
- Refills remaining
- Dispensing date
- Prescription number
- Dispensing pharmacy name and telephone number
- Potential side effects and warnings
Readers can be acquired by contacting En-Vision America directly at 800-890-1180. They will ship one directly to your home at no cost provided you have a prescription pending and/or an established patient profile at one of the participating pharmacies listed above.
Access for Sight-Impaired Consumers is pleased that British Columbians who are blind or sight-impaired have several different choices when it comes to fulfilling their prescription needs with APMI. We intend to maintain close relationships with senior management from each of these participating pharmacy chains in order to work on further expanding these choices. We would appreciate receiving feedback regarding your experience with any of the pharmacies who provide APMI so that we can assist in ensuring consumers receive efficient and effective service.
Helpful Tips Regarding APMI Service
We offer the following tips for those interested in acquiring the APMI service:
1. For those who already obtain prescriptions from any participating pharmacy and wish to have all future prescriptions dispensed with APMI, contact En-Vision America today and request they send you a ScripTalk Reader. Delivery time takes approximately seven business days so requesting the Reader today will ensure you have the device when you next fill your prescription.
2. Ask your pharmacist to update your “Patient Profile” to indicate an encoded RFID label is required on all future prescriptions. This should eliminate the need for you to ask for it each time you present a new prescription or request a refill of an existing prescription.
3. Wherever possible, and before you conclude your appointment, ask your prescribing doctor to fax your new prescription to your pharmacy. Many pharmacies offering APMI require up to 48 hours turnaround time to dispense medications with APMI. Having your prescribing doctor fax the prescription in advance will save you a second trip to the pharmacy. And, when you pick up your medication, ask the pharmacist what turnaround time is required to encode the label as some pharmacy outlets are equipped to produce APMI labels in-store.
4. Also ask your prescribing doctor to add “requires accessible audio label” to your prescriptions. This will serve as a backup to ensure the pharmacist does not overlook this important requirement.
What You can Expect from Walmart Pharmacies
Walmart Canada has committed to providing APMI service, with the following features, through its BC pharmacy outlets:
1. The prescription medication information to be contained in the auditory label is currently the default information programmed within the ScripTalk technology. This includes: patient name, name and strength of the medication, dosage, quantity, prescription date, use by date, refills remaining (if any), prescriber, name/telephone number of dispensing pharmacy, prescription number and warnings.
2. Patients or their personal representatives (with appropriate consent) may request ScripTalk encoded prescriptions in person at a Walmart pharmacy or, in the case of an authorized prescriptions refill, by telephone call to a Walmart pharmacy.
3. Physicians or other legally authorized health care professionals may request ScripTalk encoded prescriptions by telephone, electronically or by other authorized method when submitting a prescription to a Walmart pharmacy.
4. If a ScripTalk encoded prescription request is submitted to a Walmart BC pharmacy, Walmart will make every effort to have the ScripTalk encoded prescription ready for patient pick-up within 48 hours from the time the ScripTalk encoded prescription request was submitted. Walmart will contact the patient to confirm that the ScripTalk encoded prescription is available for pick-up.
5. At the professional discretion of the Walmart pharmacist, a 48- to 72-hour interim supply of the prescription medication will be dispensed to the patient and, if requested, the Walmart pharmacy will take reasonable steps to mark the prescription container for easier identification by the patient. If the Walmart pharmacist exercises his/her professional discretion against providing an interim supply, the patient will be entitled to choose either to fill the entire prescription at that time in the regular manner or to have the entire prescription filled as a ScripTalk prescription.
6. If a patient wishes to have a ScripTalk prescription delivered to his/her home, delivery will be free of charge for those Walmart BC pharmacies that provide delivery service (currently, Penticton, Burnaby, New Westminster, Surrey West, Langley) and for the remaining Walmart BC pharmacies if the patient lives within 10 km of the pharmacy. Otherwise, delivery charges will be borne by the patient. The provision of free delivery service for the remaining Walmart BC pharmacies within 10 km of the patient’s home does not apply to prescription refills.
One of the many goals for Access for Sight-Impaired Consumers is to expand sources where British Columbians who are blind or sight-impaired can acquire accessible prescription medication information. APMI enables those affected by significant sight loss to independently manage their medical prescriptions safely, confidently and independently. Please take a moment and share your APMI experiences with us so that we can work to further improve the service offered by participating pharmacies.