New York Pharmacy Chains Provide Drug Information in Foreign Languages
The pharmacy chains Target, Wal-Mart, Costco, Duane Reade and A&P will print drug information in five languages other than English at their New York stores and give oral assistance in 150 languages, under an agreement reached on Tuesday with state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo (D), the AP/Boston Globe reports. According to the agreement, the companies will print dosage information in Spanish, Chinese, Italian, Russian and French, and the stores could expand the option to other states (Bauman, AP/Boston Globe, 4/21).
In addition, the companies agreed to hire bilingual operators within the next 30 days to answer phone calls (Kaufman, New York Daily News, 4/22). New York pharmacists are required by state law to provide drug information to all patients, both verbally and in writing, and cannot discriminate against non-English speakers. Cuomo in a statement said, "Prescription information can literally be a matter of life and death" (AP/Boston Globe, 4/21). He added, "There are over one million people in New York who don't speak English as their first language and this agreement will ensure they have the medical information needed to protect their health" (New York Daily News, 4/22).