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Australian pharmacists develop medication packs for the blind

07/11/2018By Myles Hume
An Australian company run by pharmacists has developed new medication management packs to help the visually impaired take correct medication dosages.

Sydney-based Webstarecare aims to make dispensing and managing medication safe and inexpensive. It has worked with Vision Australia and Blind Citizens Australia to create a new low vision medication management pack.

International studies have shown it’s easier for people with low vision to read a simple, large white font on a black background. This is because contrast is critical in enhancing visual function.

“In talking with the experts, we discovered that it is much easier for a person with low vision to make out white text against a black background,” Webstercare managing director Mr Gerard Stevens said.

“In talking with the experts, we discovered that it is much easier for a person with low vision to make out white text against a black background.”
Gerard Stevens, Webstercare

“This led to the development of Webster-pak LV (low vision), specifically designed to ensure people with low vision are able to take their medications correctly.”

The Webster-pak LV is black and also uses a white san serif font, which is printed in a larger size. The use of uppercase and lowercase letters makes words easier to discern.

Numerous studies have concluded people with limited vision found managing their medication one of the biggest daily issues. The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates 13.6% of the population aged 75 years and over suffer vision impairment.

In its largest survey into experiences of the visually impaired, the UK’s Royal National Institute for Blind people found that 85% found it difficult or impossible to read medicine information on labels. Nearly half of blind and partially sighted people said they found it impossible to read medical instructions.

According to Webstercare, people with low vision have approved of the product, and have noted the indicated day (Mon–Sun) labels and dosage times (breakfast, lunch, dinner and bedtime) easier to see. 

“The medications, as prescribed by their doctor and packaged and supplied by a pharmacist, are more likely to be taken safely and accurately,” the company announcement stated.

Webster-pak LV is patented and available from pharmacies across Australia.


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