For National Patient Safety Awareness Week, NCD Releases Audio Public Service Announcement

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March 13, 2017 --

In observance of the National Patient Safety Awareness Week, the National Council on Disability (NCD) -- an independent, nonpartisan federal agency -- announces the availability of an audio public service announcement (PSA) regarding accessible drug labeling to educate the public about the increasing number of pharmacy chains that have committed to making accessible drug labels available to their customers. NCD encourages the PSA’s use by radio stations, pharmacies, and all other interested parties. NCD will pursue placement of the PSA on public radio stations in coming months.

Individuals can also download a brochure detailing consumer options for accessible prescription drug labels from NCD’s webpage, and learn more about the stakeholder working group that drafted the best practices.

SCRIPT (30 Seconds):  The Food and Drug Administration Safety Innovation Act makes it possible for you to receive information about your prescription drugs in multiple formats to educate you, the patient, about what you need to know before you take your medicine. This could make understanding your doctor's instructions much easier if you happen to be blind, have a learning disability or other impairment. For more information please talk to your pharmacist to find out what formats are available in your area.

A prerecorded version of the 30 second audio PSA can be heard and downloaded on the NCD website at:

http://ncd.gov/publications/2016/best-practices-accessible-prescription-drug-labeling

Additional Background:
The week of March 12 – 18 is National Patient Safety Awareness Week. One in seven Americans are classified as elderly today, and the safety of their prescription drug routines is crucially important. In addition, nearly 14 million Americans who have low vision or are blind, as well as people with certain cognitive or learning disabilities, accessible prescription labels can equal independence.  Older adults with vision impairments are three times more likely to have trouble managing medications compared to people who have no vision loss? The increased risk of taking the wrong medicine or incorrect doses of medication can easily lead to overdose or mistreatment of health problems, emergency hospitalization or, in the worst case scenario, death.

“No one should have to risk injury or worse when taking prescription medications,” said Clyde Terry, NCD Chair. “The technology to improve prescription drug access exists and so does the will to implement necessary upgrades in methods of delivery. The primary—and often missing—component in making these options more readily available to seniors, people with low vision or who are blind, and their families is increasing awareness of the availability of accessible prescription drug labels in different formats. To that end, NCD produced this PSA and will pursue its placement on radio stations across the United States, and encourage others to do the same in their areas, as well.”

About the National Council on Disability (NCD): First established as a small advisory Council within the Department of Education in 1978, NCD became a non-partisan independent federal agency in 1984. In 1986, NCD recommended enactment of an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and drafted the first version of the bill which was introduced in the House and Senate in 1988. Since the ADA became law in 1990, NCD has played a leading role in crafting policy solutions, and in advising the President, Congress and other federal agencies on disability policies, programs, and practices.                                  

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