Article: Bill requires pharmacies to offer prescription-reading audio devices to patients] 1 Attachment

Passing this along since I think this could be a good thing, I know it would help me. J

Bill requires pharmacies to offer prescription-reading audio devices to
patients
Article Link:
https://lasvegassun.com/news/2017/mar/17/bill-pharmacies-offer-free-prescription-readers/
CARSON CITY — When visually impaired Nevadans with multiple drug
prescriptions are left to take medicine on their own, deliberating between
tubes of pills can be a challenging task, legislators at a Senate hearing
testified on Friday.
Senate Bill 131, sponsored by state Sen. Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas, aims to
help Nevadans who are blind or severely visually impaired to avoid taking
the wrong pills. It mandates that all pharmacies offer requesting patients
prescription reading devices, which read aloud the name of the drug, the
name of the person it’s prescribed to and the recommended dosage — free of
charge.
“This bill makes information accessible for folks that can’t read the
labels,” Denis said during a hearing Friday in front of the Senate
Committee on Commerce, Labor and Energy.
The devices, which can cost $5 to $60, according to Denis, are normally
covered under medical insurance plans, Medicaid or Medicare. But for
uninsured patients who fall “in the gap,” SB131 aims to make sure they’re
still covered. Nevada pharmacies would pay for the cost of the devices
given to uninsured Nevadans, and then be reimbursed by the state.
Las Vegas resident Bill Powers testified Tuesday that he has been legally
blind his entire life and has only 5 percent vision in both eyes. Sitting
next to his wife, Bari, the hat-wearing, silver-bearded Nevadan
demonstrated for legislators how to use his battery-powered ScripTalk
device by placing a tube of his medicine on top of the hand-held machine
and listening while it told him the name of his pills.
“It would be able to read all of the information about this medicine,”
Powers said. “Everything that is actually printed on the label is recorded
on the script on the bottom, and I can get any of the information I need
before I decide to take my medicine.
His wife told legislators a story about how a serious illness left her
husband bed-ridden and unable to move in 2015. Bari Powers testified that
without the prescription-reading device, her husband might not have been
alive and sitting next to her on Friday.
“I had no idea what was where and what was when,” said Bari Powers, who
told legislators she is fully blind and also uses the prescription-reading
device for her own medications. “I had to use the machine to help me
figure out what pills he needed to take and when to take them.”
Committee members asked whether other technology, like smartphone apps or
cameras, would be both more practical and economical than a
battery-powered handheld audio device for helping Nevadans understand the
prescriptions on their tube.
State Sen. Joe Hardy, R-Boulder City, asked if taking a picture of the
tube with a mobile device and zooming-in on the picture might be a viable
alternative.
“Seriously, there is an opportunity to do that,” he said, just moments
before Bill Powers’ ScripTalk device shut off during a demonstration
because the battery ran out.
Both Denis and the Powers couple said that for many visually impaired
Nevadans, even a camera phone and close zoom wouldn’t help them read their
prescriptions’ labels. Bari Powers said she is “totally blind” and “can’t
even see the sun outside.”
“We need to have this bill passed so people don’t get their medication
mixed up,” she said.

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