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Know Your Rights
Source: Newsday
Subject: Language Access
Type: Media Coverage

Complaint: Pharmacies Should Help Non-English Speakers

Immigrant advocacy groups (including Make the Road New York) are charging that 16 pharmacies in Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island discriminate against non-English speakers by routinely failing to help them understand their prescriptions.

The groups say they will file a complaint with the New York attorney general.

The complaint says that federal and civil rights law require pharmacies to provide linguistic assistance for non-English speakers, who otherwise risk taking their medications incorrectly. The assistance, they say, should include interpreters at pharmacies and written translations of medical instructions.

The complaint names six Rite Aids, three CVS stores and three Duane Reades, a Walgreens and a Wal-Mart pharmacy. CVS says it is cooperating with the attorney general; the other pharmacies say they strive to provide good service to a diverse population.