Our guest today is Alex Cohen co-founder of Accessible Pharmacy, a company which provides a multitude of services, but first and foremost it is a comprehensive medication management healthcare company specializing in services for the visually impaired community.
Recognizing that this community is not homogenous, and that every individual has individual needs including within its health care services, they work on a case by case basis to match their various services to the individual’s needs. Once accessible Pharmacy secures the patient’s insurance information, they contact all of the servicing physicians to fully understand what those doctors are prescribing and what the patient’s needs truly are. Accessible Pharmacy then becomes a member of the healthcare team, and coordinates all of their medication needs with the various physicians, as well as informing the individual patient of the various packaging options available for their medication’s. These include braille, large print, and talking prescription labels provided by Script Talk all of which can be delivered to the patient’s front door.
Note: check out a previous episode of the Blind Abilities podcast for more detail regarding Script Talk
Alex Cohen was not born blind, but experienced severe nearsightedness in his youth, eventually being diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa at the wills hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Intent upon completing a degree in hotel management, Alex assumed the position of hotel manager in a local Philadelphia hotel. Recognizing that he was unable to continue in that career, he went back to school to become a professor who taught hotel management, a “hospitality professor”. While working on his PhD thesis in marketing, he studied the marketing of various products within the disability community, specifically, how to make a more inclusive marketplace for people with disabilities.
as he dug deeper, he realized that many websites of top companies across the nation were inaccessible. Moreover, he delved into the personal impact on the people, i.e. blind and visually impaired technology users as well as their families. He eventually identified substitutional empathy. Which causes friends and family members to feel the inconvenience and hardship of their disabled friends as they experience an accessible technological products. He and his partner and cofounder, Andy Burstein, embarked upon reaching out to see Pacific pharmacies to ask what services, if any they provided to blind and visually impaired customers. The results prompted the formation of accessible Pharmacy to fill the gap that clearly exists in that segment of the marketplace.
They launched the company in May 2020, deep in the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic. Their service of providing home delivery of prescription medication was particularly appealing to their consumer market during that time. The convenience of pre-sorting pills etc. was also appealing to blind and visually impaired customers who may have spent considerable time doing so on their own otherwise.
They have now developed an app, Accessible Pharmacy on the App Store, that contains an OCR camera and QR code reader which is all voice activated. Customers can use that to read all of their prescription labels, as well as two access accessible pharmacy services online. Additionally, you can access their website at accessiblepharmacy.com or via their various social media platforms. They are also partnered with Seeing AIas a Specialized Help resource on that app. Dealing frequently with senior aged customers, Alex encourages users to contact the company by phone where they will not be subjected to multiple layers of menus and phone navigation hoops through which they must Jump. Ultimately he says they prefer to speak with their customers to get the full picture of their medical and health care needs.
* Call 215799 9900.
Currently registered and 31 states, Accessible Pharmacy continues to work to grow their company across the nation. they are also launching their new product line for pre-measured medication‘s for children, in order to aid buying and visually impaired parents, as well as their pet care medication line. They will also be providing educational seminars, and a conference on Diabetes and breast cancer awareness in which one may enroll via their website.
Inclosing, Alex shares his advice with young blind and visually impaired individuals: don’t deny yourself anything“. Do not let opportunities pass you by because of your blindness. Additionally, most people are kind and genuinely wish to help. Don’t turn down an offer of assistance that might save you valuable time with which you can do more pleasurable and productive things elsewhere, such as spend time with your family, your kids, or doing something that is fun! Good advice Alex!
Be sure to listen to this informative and enjoyable interview as Simon Bonenfant chats with Alex Cohen of Accessible Pharmacy a strong provider of a valuable service to the BVI community.
Contact Your State Services
If you reside in Minnesota, and you would like to know more about Transition Services from State Services contact Transition Coordinator Sheila Koenig by email or contact her via phone at 651-539-2361.
Give us a call and leave us some feedback at 612-367-6093 we would love to hear from you!
Check out the Blind Abilities Communityon Facebook, the Blind Abilities Page, and the Career Resources for the Blind and Visually Impaired group