Empire brings talking labels to the pharmacy

Retailers like Sobeys and Safeway will use RFID to improve safety and independence for 1.5 million people living with sight loss.

Empire – which owns grocery banners such as Sobeys, Safeway and IGA – is joining forces with En-Vision’s to use its ScripTalk tech, which helps the vision impared boost their medication safety.

With ScripTalk, pharmacists are able to code prescription labels with RFID technology, which – when scanned with a free, hand-held label reader or mobile app– relay important prescription information and instructions out loud.

Empire is calling the partnership the first of its kind by a Canadian pharmacy network. Jim Johnson, VP of operations, in-store pharmacy for Sobeys, says the rollout offers Canadians access to simple technology that can help improve the independence of its pharmacy customers by helping them manage medication safely, an area of customer engagement that is becoming top-of-mind for brands looking to serve an aging Canadian population.

The audible prescription labels will be available in-store at more than 420 pharmacy locations across Empires network of grocery store.

The Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) Foundation’s president and CEO, John Rafferty, applauded the announcement and lauded the new Sobeys talking labels as helping the organizations’ constituents live more safely and independently. The CNIB Foundation estimates that there are 1.5 million people living with sight loss in Canada, ranging from mild to very severe sight loss.