2004N-0221 - Medicare Modernization Act Section 107(f) - Study on Making Prescription Pharmaceutical Information Accessible for Blind and Visually-Impaired Individuals; Establishement of Docket
FDA Comment Number : EC10
Submitter : Ms. Julie Phillipson Date & Time: 06/18/2004 04:06:53
Organization : National federation of the Blind
Individual Consumer
Category :
Issue Areas/Comments
1. How do you or other blind people you know currently get your
prescription drug information?
I ask the Dr. to make it very clear as to how to take my medications. If I am still not sure I talk to the pharmacist. If I feel I am concerned about knowing specific information like side effects I will look it up on the internet. I usually end up having to do this and it is not easy to find because so many drug names are so similar in most cases and the generic names are used. I can use a cctv but it is hard to read a bottle label with it and the print paper that comes with it is to much to read and is not good quality print anyway.

I identify my medications by pill shape, bottle size and/or shape, if I have more then one that is similar I put a rubber band around one of them and I put my morning and bedtime medications in the bathroom. other medications are in the kitchen.

3. How can essential drug information be more effectively
communicated to blind people?
I think the talking labels that are available now would give the greatest number of people access to the information. Other ways may be large print or Braille or then e-mail automatically sent to the user. This would have to be done by the pharmacist though.

4. What aspects of your visual impairment are important to
addressing the issue of access to prescription drug information?
The easiest way would be to have it sent to me via e-mail if this is not possible then the talking labels would be good. I am a Braille reader but I don?t think I would bother with it and that goes for print too.

5. What types of medication errors have you experienced as a
result of blindness or visual impairment?
I don?t think I have. I have been blind for 34 years and my alternative techniques of blindness are very good.

What assistive technologies do you use to obtain prescription information? I use a cctv and I use the internet. Using the internet is time consuming and challenging. You must spell the words just right and there are too many that sound similar. I use the sites that are not on a dedicated website but one that does not have allegiance to any one drug. I use www.webmd.com or www.rx.com.