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Know Your Rights
Source: NY1
Subject: Language Access
Type: Media Coverage

Immigrant Advocates Accuse Pharmacies of Discrimination

 Immigrant groups that say pharmacies are discriminating against non-English speaking New Yorkers filed a discrimination complaint with the state attorney general’s office Wednesday.

The suit names 16 pharmacies in Brooklyn, Queens, and the eastern suburbs.

Activists say the pharmacies do not provide written or spoken help to people who do not speak English. The communication breakdown is being blamed for medication misuse.

"People were having there kids drink something that was meant to be rubbed on their skin as a topical solution," said Theo Oshiro of the group Make the Road NY. "We’ve seen people who go home and take the wrong dosages of medicine because they don’t know and they didn’t get any indication from the pharmacists themselves or anything in writing."

Some of the stores named in the complaint include CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid. All say they accommodate non-English speakers and they can call a bilingual speaker if one is not available in the store.