Retailers work with attorney general to provide multilingual Rx information

NEW YORK Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has announced an agreement with CVS and Rite Aid whereby the two pharmacy retailers will counsel all pharmacy customers about prescription information in their own language and will provide written translations in Spanish, Chinese, Italian, Russian, French and Polish.

“Understanding prescription information is a matter of life and death,” Cuomo said. “Our state has always been proud to be home to people from all throughout the world. We need to make sure that all New Yorkers can read and understand the vital information about their medications, regardless of whether English is their first language. CVS and Rite Aid have taken important steps to ensure that customers receive proper assistance in understanding their medication, and my office?s investigation into the practices of other pharmacies continues.”

According to census data, more than one million New Yorkers do no speak English well or at all.

The agreements with the state, which impact more than 2,000 stores statewide, require the pharmacies to:

• Identify whether a customer needs assistance in understanding their prescription medication.

• Inform customers of their right to free assistance in understanding their prescription medication.

• Provide prescription labels and directions regarding dosage and safety information in the six languages that are spoken by more than 1 percent of the population of New York.

• Provide additional assistance in all languages through a service called Language Line.

• Ensure that pharmacy staff counsel customers about their prescription medication in the customer’s own language.

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