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Senate Corrects Labeling Blind Spot

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Senate Corrects Labeling Blind Spot

While product labels can warn consumers or provide them with important knowledge, their visually dependent nature doesn't make them accessible to everyone.

For labels to be useful or even lifesaving, they require the user to be able to read and see the information, leaving blind and visually impaired citizens at a major and perhaps fatal disadvantage.

Fortunately, the U.S. Senate recently passed new legislation that will help visually impaired Americans gain independent and private access to prescription labels by requiring pharmacies to adopt both visual aids, including large-print and high-contrast fonts, and non-visual aids such as Braille and auditory "talking bottles."

"Knowing what medication you are taking and the quantity is something that most individuals without vision loss take for granted," said Mitch Pomerantz, president of the American Council of the Blind. "We are grateful that the Senate ... has passed legislation that will allow for a greater level of privacy and independence for blind and visually impaired Americans of all ages who take prescription medications."

Medications in general continue to be a point of focus for government and nonprofit groups. For example, diet supplements may soon have to register with the Food and Drug Administration to provide clarity for users.