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March 12, 2024

Prescription Label Accessibility for Blind Coloradans Passes Committee

DENVER, CO - The House Health & Human Services Committee today passed legislation to make prescription drug labels more accessible to blind or vision and print-impaired Coloradans. HB24-1115 passed unanimously by a vote of 11-0.

“The information on prescription labels provides important details that enable patients to safely and effectively take medication. Vision and print-impaired and blind Coloradans deserve for this information to be shared with them in a way they can understand,” said Rep. Mary Young, D-Greeley. “The inaccessibility of this information can lead to negative health consequences and prevents Coloradans with disabilities from having agency over their health care. With this legislation, we’re ensuring that prescription labels will be accessible to visually and print-impaired and blind Coloradans.”

“Current Colorado law does not require prescription label information to be available in a way that is accessible to blind or visually and print-impaired Coloradans,” said Rep. Junie Joseph, D-Boulder. “The efficiency of prescription medication depends on the frequency and dosage. This bill will increase reading accessibility of prescription labels so blind and vision and print-impaired Coloradans can access this critical information.”

HB24-1115 would require a pharmacy to provide blind or vision and print-impaired Coloradans with access to prescription drug label information by providing:

  • An electronic label, like a QR code, on the container that can transmit the label information and instructions to the person’s accessibility device,

  • A no-cost prescription drug reader that provides the label information in an audio format,

  • Prescription drug label information in braille or large print, or

  • Any other method recommended by the US Access Board.

Small pharmacies with less than two pharmacists may request the Colorado State Board of Pharmacy for exemption if they believe it will greatly burden their business. The bill also allows Colorado patients to sue non-compliant pharmacies on the basis of disability discrimination.

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