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Labels on boxes of tablets

(14 Posts)
Baggs Mon 19-Oct-20 07:15:31

Does anyone else get their medication dosage labels stuck over the Braille on boxes of tablets?

I taught myself to read Braille so that if I need to take something during the night and don't want to turn a light on or put my glasses on I can double check that I've got the right box. I keep the boxes of tablets in the same order in the medicine cabinet but the Braille check is another layer of carefulness.

Whoever sticks the labels on at the pharmacy I use nearly always sticks the labels on top of the Braille. It's annoying, especially as, printed very clearly on another side of each box, is the instruction to "place label here".

Can it really be difficult to train people to do such a simple thing right?

FannyCornforth Mon 19-Oct-20 07:28:31

That is annoying.
Mention it to the pharmacy and I'm sure that they will take note - well, one hopes they would.
It's just thoughtless.
I'm super impressed that you taught yourself Braille!

Marydoll Mon 19-Oct-20 07:36:50

Baggs, I know it doesn't make it right, but if you use the same pharmacy, could it be that the dispenser knows you and has assumed you don't need to read the Braille part?
I'm on a fair amount of medication, at least fifteen, but most don't have that feature.
The only one I'm sure of is the pain killing patch, it definitely has it.

I have to admire you learning Braille, a very useful skill to have.

NfkDumpling Mon 19-Oct-20 07:42:12

Have you told the pharmacy Baggs? It could just be a bit of thoughtlessness from someone working in a hurry and needs to be brought to their attention. Its on the box for a reason.

sodapop Mon 19-Oct-20 07:54:58

I'm impressed as well Baggs . It's just a lack of care and attention from the staff at the pharmacy, they should avoid the Braille instructions as a matter of course. I would certainly mention it to them, it must be difficult for blind customers having to deal with the labels and glue residue.

Baggs Mon 19-Oct-20 08:24:59

I contacted the main office a few weeks ago. Next prescription I picked up the labels were in the correct place. Then last week reverted to type, as it were. MrB predicted it would!

Sent another polite email today. I can’t be the only person who needs to read the Braille. Why have it if you cover it up?

My Braille reading speed is tortoise 😁

Baggs Mon 19-Oct-20 08:28:31

Braille has a certain mathematical and code appeal that’s fascinating.

Marydoll Mon 19-Oct-20 08:41:33

Some of my medication is often decanted into bottles or tubs, so how would that work with them?

I am often up during the night for medication, but I do need to put my glasses on. I wouldn't trust myself not to make a mistake, even if I could read Braille.

Baggs, does your pharmacy send medication requests to a hub to be dispensed and different people, who do not know you, are dispensing your medication. Therefore no continuity.
My pharmacy do this with some of mine and therein lies the problem with errors.
I never have problems with the pharmacy ones, a they know me well, but there is always a problem and delay with the others.

Baggs Mon 19-Oct-20 12:03:53

Baggs, does your pharmacy send medication requests to a hub to be dispensed and different people, who do not know you, are dispensing your medication. Therefore no continuity.

I don't think so, marydoll. That said, the pharmacy used to be a private business so one got to know the pharmacist and his regular employees. I thought one of the assistants was his wife because he and she went the extra mile to make sure things were right for their individual customers.

When they retired the pharmacy was taken over by a group that has pharmacies in other parts of Scotland. Although there's really no excuse for putting labels on top of Braille, I guess people employed by a bigger than personal business often have less skin in the game and this often shows. I have certainly felt a difference since the original pharmacist retired, a more brusque, less friendly attitude. Not unfriendly, just not particularly friendly. The original pharmacist lived locally.

As it happens, I didn't receive a reply to my original email and it seems from a reply I got today that the message was not forwarded to our local branch. It seems one person at least (not the one who replied to me) is in high dudgeon. Fear of that is exactly why I didn't speak to someone at the pharmacy but contacted the company office. Direct communication is also more difficult because of mask-wearing requirements.

Callistemon Mon 19-Oct-20 12:25:26

The box mine are in have Braille on two sides, which presumably repeats the same as the printed words. The side with the instructions is covered by a label, the side with name of the drug is uncovered.
They medicine came from the hospital pharmacy and they don't know me from Adam (or Eve).

EllanVannin Mon 19-Oct-20 12:25:36

Wow, Braille and medication is something you really have to think about. It has to be so accurate in every way.
Eyesight and care of the eyes is crucial when you realise that those with partial or no sight have to " get it right " along with those administering medication.

We shouldn't take too much for granted.

MellowYellow Mon 19-Oct-20 23:09:08

My daughter is totally blind and has never mentioned problems with reading the braille on her medication so I assume the pharmacy realise she is blind. Funnily enough she never uses braille otherwise nowadays because voice technology is so good, so the braille I learnt when she was little is very rusty.

Baggs Tue 20-Oct-20 08:18:14

That's interesting, mellowyellow. It suggests to me that unless someone is registered blind with the pharmacy they use, or has a note attached to the information the pharmacy has about them mentioning that they use Braille, then the pharmacy doesn't need to bother about keeping the Braille readable on the containers of medication.

If this is indeed the case, and my experience does back it up, though I realise my experience is only one small piece of data, it's shocking. It defeats the whole purpose of making information easily available to anyone.

It's easier for me to read Braille signs on a bus than on my prescription boxes. Ridiculous!

Pharmacists should not assume that only when they are aware of a person's requirement to read Braille that it should be available. It is made available by law for a reason: to make it easy for anyone who needs to read it able to do so.

The equivalent in road signs would be to cover up signs that local people don't actually need on an everyday basis because nobody told you that sometimes non-locals drive by. This situation actually caused a problem for my brother in Ireland many years ago. He got told off by someone coming the other way on a road because it was a one way road and he was going the wrong way. When he said that there wasn't a sign to say it was one way they told him: "There's no need for one; everybody knows it's one way."
Except they didn't.

Baggs Tue 20-Oct-20 08:20:57

My mother and all her siblings were affected by degenerative macular disease. Their increasing blindness over the years made me very aware of the needs of people who can't see very well.

People who work in pharmacies should have such awareness trained into them.