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CVS rolls out audio prescription labels nationwide

CVS Health store
CVS is making prescription labels accessible to visually impaired shoppers.

CVS is offering a proprietary solution that will read prescription information aloud at all of its pharmacy locations.

The drugstore giant is making a feature called “Spoken Rx,” which it developed in collaboration with the American Council of the Blind, available at its nearly 10,000 pharmacy locations nationwide, including the more than 1,700 CVS Pharmacy locations within Target. Designed for customers with visual impairments and who cannot read standard print labels, Spoken Rx allows customers to have their prescription information read aloud. It is available at no extra cost to shoppers.

The Spoken Rx feature is available in the CVS Pharmacy app and is accessible using Voiceover for iOS, or self-voicing with Siri or Google Assistant on a smartphone. It can read a specific type of label which is affixed to the bottom of each prescription container for customers who have enrolled in the program.

When these RFID (radio-frequency identification)-enabled labels are scanned using the Spoken Rx tab in the CVS app, prescription information, including patient name, medication name, and directions, will be read aloud in either English or Spanish. CVS bases the solution on a platform from digital identification and security technology provider Identiv Inc.

CVS has been boosting the functionality of its mobile app. In June 2021, the retailer greatly expanded the features available in its app for its ExtraCare loyalty program. Instead of being paid out on a quarterly basis, ExtraCare rewards points now show up in the CVS app moments after a purchase. 

The CVS app also provides optional coupon reminders and special offers via ExtraCare SMS text messages, including surprise deals tailored to individual customer interests. A mobile rewards tracker enables customers to view progress toward earned rewards from ExtraCare, the opt-in ExtraCare BeautyClub and Pharmacy & Health Rewards programs, and the paid CarePass membership program.

Spoken Rx adds to the existing braille, audio, and large-print accessible prescription label options already available through the CVS website. The solution initially launched in 1,700 CVS stores in 2020.

"We continue to remove barriers to health care for all patients, and this in-app technology furthers our commitment by providing patients added flexibility and independence," said Jared Tancrelle, senior VP, store operations at CVS Health. "Our patients are increasingly digitally connected, so digital tools like Spoken Rx are a priority for us as we listen to feedback and adapt our suite of pharmacy services and programs to ensure we're best meeting the needs of all consumers."

"This is a positive step that offers same-day, access for prescriptions filled in CVS stores. Spoken Rx allows for a greater level of privacy, safety, and independence for blind and visually impaired customers," said Eric Bridges, executive director for the American Council of the Blind.

CVS Pharmacy, the retail division of Woonsocket, R.I.-based CVS Health, operates nearly 10,000 stores, including over 1,700 pharmacies inside of Target and Schnucks grocery stores.

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