Pharmacies reach agreement with Cuomo’s office
Pharmacy customers who struggle to understand the instructions on their medication prescriptions because they aren’t fluent in English will benefit from changes at five major phamacy operators, according to the New York Attorney General’s office.
The retailers, which operate pharmacies in the Lower Hudson Valley and elsewhere in the state, have agreed to advise pharmacy customers about prescription information in their own language and provide written translations in Spanish, Chinese, Italian, Russian, and French, the attorney general’s office said.
State law prohibits phamacies from discriminating against customers who don’t speak English.
“The need to understand prescription information can literally be a matter of life and death,” Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo said in a written statement. “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 and well-being and that of their families.”
The agreements with the attorney general’s office, which cover more than 700 stores statewide, include pharmacies operated by Wal-Mart, Target, Duane Reade, Costco and the A&P supermarket chain. In November, Cuomo announced similar agreements with CVS and Rite-Aid.
The attorney general’s office said the agreements were drafted in the aftermath of an undercover investigation that found that medication information may be misundersttod by non-English speaking customers because many pharmacies didn’t communicate in a language familiar to the customers.