RESOLUTION 2011-12

Access to Prescription Drug Labeling

AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
RESOLUTION 2011-12

SUMMARY:

This organization commits to advocacy leading to the prompt enactment of federal legislation requiring pharmacies to offer, upon request, access to prescription drug labeling and accompanying information. Such legislation should mandate the promulgation of regulations describing the variety of means necessary to meet the non-visual and enhanced visual access needs of customers with vision loss.

WHEREAS, at least 25 million Americans experience significant vision loss affecting their ability to independently read prescription drug container labeling and accompanying package inserts; and

WHEREAS, this population is expected to grow exponentially in the future as baby boomers age; and

WHEREAS, no state has yet implemented laws that insure that prescription labeling is fully and reliably accessible to people with vision loss; and

WHEREAS, a mere handful of pharmacies are exploring methods for offering accessible labeling but are not doing so consistently; and

WHEREAS, as a part of the Medicare Modernization and Improvement Act of 2003, the U.S. Congress charged the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate the problem of inaccessible drug labeling and to make recommendations; and

WHEREAS, the FDA's report thoroughly described the barriers faced by people with vision loss but utterly failed to craft meaningful policy recommendations or propose other solutions; and

WHEREAS, a consumer survey conducted by the American Foundation for the Blind, published at www.afb.org/labels, demonstrated that the failure to provide prescription drug labeling in accessible formats can lead to significant health risks;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the American Council of the Blind in Convention assembled at the John Ascuaga Nugget Hotel Resort and Casino in Sparks, Nev. on the 15th day of July, 2011,, that this organization commit to advocacy leading to the prompt enactment of federal legislation requiring pharmacies to offer, upon request, access to prescription drug labeling and accompanying information. Such legislation should mandate the promulgation of regulations describing the variety of means necessary to meet the non-visual and enhanced visual access needs of customers with vision loss.

Adopted.

Marlaina Lieberg, Secretary