information can be a matter of life and death, New York State Attorney General
Andrew Cuomo announced a deal Tuesday with pharmacies and retailers to provide
drug information to consumers in their primary languages.
Wal-Mart, Target, Costco,
A&P and Duane Reade will start providing written drug instructions at their
stores in Spanish, Chinese, Italian, Russian and French.
The companies, which
collectively have 700 stores in New
York state, will also have to provide assistance
verbally in all languages.
The deal comes following an
investigation that found pharmacies fail to advise non-English speakers about
dosage and side effects of medications in their own language.
"New York City and state governments have
responded to changing demographics by requiring improved language access
services at government agencies and hospital across the state. Sadly, until
today, most New York State pharmacies have been lagging far behind,"
said Andrew Friedman of Make the Road New York.
Cuomo reached similar
agreements last year with Rite Aid and CVS.
According to census data,
more than a million New Yorkers do not speak English well or at all.