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Contact: Kim Charlson, President, American Council of the Blind
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Walgreens Launches Nationwide Program Offering Talking Prescription Devices for Customers with Visual Impairments

Initiative adds to Walgreens other accessible prescription information services; leadership of blindness organizations praise company’s program

DEERFIELD, Ill., June 3, 2014 -- Walgreens, the nation’s largest drugstore chain (NYSE: WAG) (Nasdaq: WAG), today announced the launch of a nationwide program offering talking prescription devices to customers with visual impairments. The initiative introduces a new service that complements other accessible prescription information Walgreens currently provides.

Walgreens is the first in the industry to offer this exclusive talking prescription device, called the Talking Pill Reminder, at its retail locations chainwide.  The device attaches to prescription containers and will be provided free of charge with prescription medications that Walgreens dispenses to its pharmacy customers who are blind or who have visual impairments. The Talking Pill Reminder can be recorded to speak the information on the customer’s prescription medication label, and also has an audible alarm to remind patients when to take a medication.

The Talking Pill Reminder is available to customers of Walgreens retail pharmacies across the country and through Walgreens prescription mail service.  The devices also are available in Walgreens drugstores for purchase for a retail price of $9.99.  

“Adherence to medication can be critical in treating illness today, and this is an innovation that will help our visually impaired customers correctly identify and take medications as prescribed,” said Jeff Koziel, Walgreens group vice president of pharmacy operations.  “As part of our mission to help customers get, stay and live well, we’re proud to have worked closely with other leading organizations to make the Talking Pill Reminder available across all of our more than 8,100 stores nationwide.”

The initiative is the result of a collaboration between Walgreens, The American Council of the Blind (ACB) and the ACB affiliates in California and Illinois.  All partnering organizations praised the Walgreens announcement.

“Accessible prescription information is critical to people who are blind, and with today’s announcement, Walgreens assumes a significant leadership role in serving its customers with visual impairments,” said ACB President Kim Charlson.

Illinois Council of the Blind representative Ray Campbell commended Walgreens initiative, saying, “So many of our members and ACB members across the country value Walgreens excellent customer service.  The company’s rollout of the Talking Pill Reminder gives them yet another reason to make Walgreens their pharmacy of choice.”

California Council of the Blind President Donna Pomerantz said, “Standard prescription labels put customers who are blind at risk for mixing up medications or taking them incorrectly.  For this reason, Walgreens initiative is a matter of basic safety, and we congratulate the company on its efforts in this important area.”

In addition to providing the Talking Pill Reminder, Walgreens also offers large print patient information sheets to customers who have visual impairments.

Walgreens accessibility initiative will help people with visual impairments who have difficulty or are unable to read a standard prescription medication label. 

About Walgreens

As the nation's largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2013 sales of $72 billion, Walgreens (www.walgreens.com) vision is to be the first choice in health and daily living for everyone in America, and beyond. Each day, Walgreens provides more than 6 million customers the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice in communities across America. Walgreens scope of pharmacy services includes retail, specialty, infusion, medical facility and mail service, along with respiratory services. These services improve health outcomes and lower costs for payers including employers, managed care organizations, health systems, pharmacy benefit managers and the public sector. The company operates 8,200 drugstores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Take Care Health Systems is a Walgreens subsidiary that is the largest and most comprehensive manager of worksite health and wellness centers, provider practices, and in-store convenient care clinics, with more than 750 locations throughout the country.

American Council of the Blind (ACB), the California Council of the Blind (CCB) and the Illinois Council of the Blind (ICB)

The American Council of the Blind is a national consumer-based advocacy organization working on behalf of blind and visually impaired Americans throughout the country, with members organized through seventy state and special interest affiliates.  The California and Illinois Councils of the Blind are state affiliates of the ACB, with local chapters throughout those states. The ACB, ICB and CCB are dedicated to improving the quality of life, equality of opportunity, and independence of all people who have visual impairments.  Their members and affiliated organizations have a long history of commitment to the advancement of policies and programs which will enhance independence for people who are blind and visually impaired.  More information about the ACB, ICB and CCB can be found by visiting http://www.acb.org, http://www.icbonline.org/ and http://www.ccbnet.org

This web page was last updated June 3, 2014.