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Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and Packing Sourcer

Universal Clarity

People with a visual impairment often experience problems in differentiating packets, with the increased standardisation of packaging sizes and shapes. They can also have problems with reading the instructions since they are often printed in a small typeface with poor visual quality. In order to alleviate these problems, the European Commission has issued a directive requiring suppliers of pharmaceutical products to incorporate braille labels and produce information leaflets in alternative formats. However, the associated standard has yet to be published, which leaves uncertainty about the detailed implementation of the directive.

Packaging poses significant problems for many older people. This is often due to an inability to read the label, understand its meaning or open the package without damaging the contents. Failure to take medicine correctly has been estimated to cost the US economy $100 billion per year (1).

THE VISUALLY IMPAIRED POPULATION

About 1.5 per cent of the population could be officially registered as ‘blind’ or ‘partially sighted’. Of these, around 0.4 per cent have to rely on non-visual methods to access information (2)...

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Dr John Gill, OBE DSc FIET, is Chief Scientist at RNIB in the UK. He has worked for over 35 years in the area of scientific and technological research for people with disabilities. His research has included the design of fonts, public access terminals, tactile communication, orientation systems, automated production of braille and large print, smart card and biometric systems, and accessibility of information and communication technology systems and services. He has visited over 40 countries and written over 200 publications.
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