Specialty Pharmacies Serve the Blind and People with Low Vision. Penny Rosenblum, the foundation’s former director of research, described one such barrier in an Op-Ed last fall: “‘Drive-thru’ and ‘curbside pickup’ discriminate,” she wrote. “This does not work for people who have lost their vision. Alternative plans, such as porch delivery, walk-up, or bike-thru, must be available in communities.”
DeAnna Quietwater Noriega, a writer, and full-time caregiver for her husband, Curtis, has D&H Drugstore in Columbia, Mo., hand-deliver the couple’s prescriptions and any other pharmacy items they require to their front door. Ms. Noriega, 73, was born with glaucoma and has been legally blind since the age of eight.
“They know our names and always treat us with respect and friendliness,” she said of her local pharmacy. “They go above and beyond to ensure that our medications are compatible with one another and to advocate on our behalf if our insurance company objects to the drug our doctors prescribed.”
Ms. Noriega’s medications are labeled with ScripTalk, which she reads with her iPhone. She used to fill their prescriptions at Walmart. The problem, she explained, was that the couple was never informed when their refills had run out until they arrived at the pharmacy. “We were expected to read the tiny print on the label,” she explained.
To meet the needs of their customers, many independent pharmacies provide personalized services such as home delivery. In many areas, major drugstore chains also provide home delivery. Chain pharmacies have become somewhat more accessible in recent years, thanks in part to lawsuits and negotiations led by advocacy organizations such as the American Council of the Blind.
However, finding a pharmacy that offers a comprehensive range of accessible solutions under one roof has proven difficult. CVS Health, which offers ScripTalk through its website, added a feature to its app called SpokenRx last summer that can scan labels and read prescriptions aloud, and the company claims it is now available in 10,000 stores.
ScripTalk is also available at nearly 1,800 Walmart and Sam’s Club locations. Other agreements have been reached with Walgreens to provide its Talking Pill Reminder for free. The council’s executive director, Eric Bridges, stated that they have yet to engage with Amazon Pharmacy.