Following a trial in 2020 involving 1,700 locations across the US, CVS is expanding the availability of its Spoken Rx audio prescription labels to all 10,000 of its pharmacies nationwide. The accessibility feature is available through the CVS Pharmacy app. It uses your phone to scan Rx bottles equipped with special RFID labels that then allow the device to read the label, including any instructions related to dosage amounts, aloud in English or Spanish.
You’ll need to enroll in the service if you want CVS to put Spoken Rx labels on your prescriptions. You can do so either over the phone or in-person at one of its locations. In the latter case, the company says its pharmacists can help patients with ensuring their CVS app is set up for the service. For those who don’t have a smartphone, CVS will offer a free standalone speaker device. Patients can also ask for prescription bottles fitted with Braille or large-print labels.
"This is a positive step that offers same-day access for prescriptions filled in CVS stores,” said Eric Bridges, the executive director of the American Council of the Blind, which helped CVS develop the feature. “Spoken Rx allows for a greater level of privacy, safety, and independence for blind and visually impaired customers."
Unfortunately, if you get your prescriptions from more than one pharmacy chain, the CVS app won’t work with those. Matt Blanchette, a communications manager with the company, told The Verge Spoken Rx can only read audio prescription labels from CVS Pharmacy. The company currently does not have any plans to make the proprietary feature work with labels from other brands.