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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 , Feb. 6, 2020 /CNW/ - 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 in-store at its more than 420 pharmacy locations, including Lawtons Drugs, Sobeys, Safeway, Thrifty Foods, Foodland, IGA (western Canada ) and FreshCo.

Empire Company Limited (CNW Group/Empire Company Limited)
Empire Company Limited (CNW Group/Empire Company Limited)

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 Jim Johnston , Vice President of Operations In-Store Pharmacy, 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."

"This is the first time in Canada that a pharmacy chain is making ScripTalk available in-store, at all locations. Now blind and visually impaired patients can get ScripTalk labels over the counter, in-store. En-Vision America is excited to be partnering with Empire's brands and supporting their commitment to prescription label access for everyone," said Amanda Tolson , Director of Sales, En-Vision America, Inc.

"We at the Canadian Council of the Blind 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," said Louise Gillis CCB President. "ScripTalk provides independence for people with print disabilities. The ScripTalk 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 Sobeys, Safeway, FreshCo, and more."

"Reading the fine print on prescriptions has been a longstanding barrier for Canadians who are blind or partially sighted, resulting in accidental overdoses and other serious medication errors," says John Rafferty , Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) Foundation's president and CEO. "With Sobeys' new talking labels, individuals with sight loss are now able to manage their medications more safely and independently."

The CNIB Foundation estimates that there are 1.5 million people living with sight loss in Canada , ranging from mild to very severe sight loss. This population is currently underserved with limited pharmacy-provided options for accessible prescription labelling. This puts them at risk for delays and misinformation when accessing their medications.

About Empire

Empire Company Limited (EMP-A.TO) 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, Foodland, FreshCo, IGA (western Canada ) 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, Florida -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.

About the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB)

The Canadian Council of Blind (CCB) is the Voice of the Blind™ in Canada . Founded 75 years ago in 1944 by returning blind veterans and schools of the blind, the CCB is a membership-based registered charity that brings together Canadians who are blind, living with vision loss, or deaf-blind through chapters within their own local communities that provide the opportunity to share common interests and social activities.

About the CNIB Foundation (CNIB)

Founded in 1918, the CNIB Foundation is a non-profit organization driven to change what it is to be blind today. We deliver innovative programs and powerful advocacy that empower people impacted by blindness to live their dreams and tear down barriers to inclusion. Our work as a blind foundation is powered by a network of volunteers, donors and partners from coast to coast to coast. For more information, please visit cnib.ca.

SOURCE Empire Company Limited

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