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Empire Company Limited to Provide Accessible Prescription Labels In-Store Across Canada

PALMETTO, FL (Feb. 6, 2020) — Sobeys and the family of brands under Empire Company Limited continue to lead the grocery retail sector in providing inclusive customer experiences as the first Canadian pharmacy network to offer En-Vision America’s ScripTalk audible prescription labels at all its in-store and stand-alone pharmacy locations. This includes Lawtons Drugs, Sobeys, Safeway, Thrifty Foods, Foodland, IGA (Western Canada) and FreshCo.

A first-of-its kind at the national level by a Canadian pharmacy network, this rollout offers Canadians reliable access to simple, innovative technology to improve independent management of prescription medication.

ScripTalk audible prescription labels enable blind, low vision or print-impaired pharmacy patients to hear important prescription label information free of charge using En-Vision America’s Pharmacy Freedom Program.

With ScripTalk, pharmacies are able to code prescription labels with RFID, or Radio Frequency Identification technology. Patients can then use a small, hand-held base prescription reader called the ScripTalk Station Reader, available free of charge, to hear important prescription information and instructions read aloud (i.e. an audible label). Patients can also access talking prescription labels by using En-Vision America’s Android and iOS apps, which are compatible with the coded prescription labels.

“We’re proud to offer ScripTalk at all of our pharmacies across the country,” said Vivek Sood, Executive Vice President, Related Business, Sobeys Inc. “ScripTalk is an easy-to-use yet innovative technology that is breaking barriers for those who are blind, have experienced vision loss, or are otherwise not able to read vital prescription information. With this technology, we’re empowering our patients to independently manage their medications safely at our pharmacies, in their homes, or wherever they may be.”

“This is the first time in Canada that a pharmacy chain is making ScripTalk available in-store, at all locations,” added Amanda Tolson, Director of Sales, En-Vision America, Inc. “Now blind and visually impaired patients can get ScripTalk labels over the counter, in store. En-Vision America is excited to be partnering with Sobeys and supporting their commitment to prescription label access for everyone.”

“Reading the fine print on prescriptions has been a longstanding barrier for Canadians who are blind or partially sighted, resulting in accidental overdoses and other serious medication errors,” said John Rafferty, CNIB Foundation’s president and CEO. “With Sobeys’ new talking labels, individuals with sight loss are now able to manage their medications 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. This population is currently underserved with limited pharmacy-provided options for accessible prescription labelling. This puts them at risk for delays and misinformation when accessing their medications.

All Empire banner pharmacy locations across Canada, including Lawtons Drug Stores, and in-store pharmacies located in Sobeys, Safeway, Thrifty Foods, Foodland, IGA (Western Canada) and FreshCo banners offer the ScripTalk service.


About Empire

Empire Company Limited (TSX: EMP.A) is a Canadian company headquartered in Stellarton, Nova Scotia. Empire’s key businesses are food retailing, through wholly-owned subsidiary Sobeys Inc., and related real estate. With approximately $25.6 billion in annualized sales and $13.8 billion in assets, Empire and its subsidiaries, franchisees and affiliates employ approximately 123,000 people.

Sobeys National Pharmacy

Sobeys National Pharmacy has more than 420 pharmacies across Canada, including Sobeys, Safeway, Thrifty Foods, FreshCo and Lawtons Drugs pharmacies; each with a dedicated team to help you manage your medication and health care needs. From advice on what to take for a cough or cold to helping you manage a new prescription medication, our teams are committed to providing convenient and personalized services for your family’s health and wellbeing.


About En-Vision America

En-Vision America, a Palmetto, Fla.-based company, provides high-tech products aimed at solving problems for individuals with disabilities. The company has spearheaded many innovations relating to labeling including voice-enabled products like i.d. mate, the talking bar code reader, and ScriptAbility, which includes talking prescription labels, Braille, large print, dual language and Controlled Substance Safety Labels (CSSLs). Originally founded by Philip C. and David B. Raistrick in 1996, the cornerstone of the company is based on one single premise: To provide those with disabilities equal access and greater independence through technology. Today, more than 20,000 individuals are using ScripTalk. For additional information, visit


About the CNIB Foundation

Founded in 1918, the CNIB Foundation is a non-profit organization driven to change what it is to be blind today. We deliver innovative programs and powerful advocacy that empower people impacted by blindness to live their dreams and tear down barriers to inclusion. Our work as a blind foundation is powered by a network of volunteers, donors and partners from coast to coast to coast. For more information, please visit


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