CVS tests talking prescription bottles

CVS/pharmacy (NYSE: CVS) is testing prescription labels that offer spoken instructions for the visually impaired and those who cannot read standard print. The labels are manufactured by ScripTalk and are available for all prescriptions ordered for home delivery through CVS's online pharmacy.

Here's how it works: customers can order a free ScripTalk reader, a small wireless device that looks like a portable speaker. The prescription bottle is then outfitted with a sticker-like electronic strip containing a special sensor that the reader is able to decode. A talking label can be affixed to any type of prescription drug container, and pharmacists use software to program each chip with the medication information from their computer system. To hear the information on the chip, the customer places the prescription container on top of the ScripTalk reader and presses a button that activates voice instruction.

In June 2012, Walmart (NYSE: WMT) became the first national pharmacy retailer to offer talking prescription containers free of charge to people with visual impairments.

CVS has launched the program in collaboration with the American Foundation for the Blind, American Council of the Blind and California Council of the Blind. It's the latest move in CVS's efforts to become a leading source of health care services. Most recently, CVS launched a smoking cessation program following its decision to stop selling cigarettes and all tobacco products in February.

"Tobacco products have no place in a setting where healthcare is delivered," said Larry Merlo, president and CEO. "Ending the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products at CVS/pharmacy is simply the right thing to do for the good of our customers and our company."

For more:
-See this CVS press release
-See this Walmart press release

Related stories:
Walgreens brings preventive health services to in-store clinics
Walgreens November sales increase 4%
Walgreens, CVS report strong third quarter earnings
Walgreens earnings hike signals pharmacy strength
Walgreens shifts 180,000 employees to health exchange

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