Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said Thursday that CVS and Rite Aid have agreed to provide prescription medication instructions to New York state customers in their primary language.
The pact follows complaints made to the AG’s office, including the non-profit organization Make the Road New York, that pharmacy giants routinely fail to advise non-English speaking customers in a language that allows them to understand the purpose, dosage, and side-effects of their medications. New York state law requires pharmacists to personally provide information about prescription drugs to all patients, orally and in writing, and prohibits pharmacies from conducting business in a way that discriminates against non-English speakers. It is estimated there are more than a million New Yorkers who do not speak English well or at all.
Officials said CVS and RiteAid, which also owns Eckerd and Genovese pharmacies, will counsel all pharmacy customers about prescription information in their own language and provide written translations in Spanish, Chinese, Italian, Russian, French, and Polish.
Some 2,000 pharmacy outlets across the state will now advise customers on prescriptions.