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June 3, 2024

Prescription Label Accessibility for Blind Coloradans Signed into Law

DENVER, CO – Governor Jared Polis today signed legislation to make prescription drug labels more accessible to blind, visually impaired and print-impaired Coloradans. HB24-1115 is sponsored by Representatives Mary Young and Junie Joseph and Senate President Steve Fenberg.

“The information on prescription labels provides important details that enable patients to safely and effectively take medication – we need to ensure blind, visually impaired and print-impaired Coloradans can readily access this information,” said Rep. Mary Young, D-Greeley. “If you can’t access the label of your prescription medication, it could lead to negative health consequences, even death. This law allows Coloradans to have agency over their health care by making sure prescription labels are accessible for blind, visually impaired and print-impaired Coloradans.”

“All patients deserve to have access to accommodations that meet their unique needs so that they can consistently receive critical information about their medications,” said Senate President Steve Fenberg, D-Boulder. “Prescription medications are critical to maintaining one’s health, and a lack of access to information about prescription medications can have serious, life-threatening consequences, such as accidentally taking an incorrect medication or dosage. This important new law will help blind, visually impaired, and print disabled Coloradans stay healthy and safe while maintaining their independence.”

“Prescription labels outline important information related to dosage and frequency, and this law makes labels more accessible to blind or visually and print-impaired Coloradans,” said Rep. Junie Joseph, D-Boulder. “Our law will increase reading accessibility of prescription labels so that blind, and visually impaired Coloradans can access the live-saving information they need. We’re committed to improving accessibility throughout our state, and this law tackles prescription labels as an important part of that effort.”

HB24-1115 will require a pharmacy to provide blind, visually impaired and print-impaired Coloradans with access to prescription drug label information. The law requires pharmacies to, upon request, provide patients with:

  • 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.

The law also allows Colorado patients to sue non-compliant pharmacies on the basis of disability discrimination, and creates the Prescription Accessibility Grant Program to provide grants to pharmacies for the purchase of equipment used to create accessible prescription labels.

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