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Know Your Rights
Source: Make the Road New York
Subject: Health Justice & Access
Type: Media Coverage

MRNY Wins Landmark Civil Rights Complaints Against Rite Aid and CVS

In response to a civil rights complaint filed with the New York State Attorney General on behalf of over 30 Make the Road New York members, the New York State Attorney General has announced comprehensive corrective action agreements with two of the largest pharmacy chains in the country.

The agreements affect more than 2,000 stores in New York State alone and require the pharmacies to:

  • Identify whether a customer needs assistance in understanding their prescription medication;
  • Inform customers of their right to free assistance in reading and understanding their prescription medication;
  • Provide prescription labels and directions regarding dosage and safety information in each of the six languages that are spoken by more than one percent of the population of New York;
  • Provide additional assistance in all languages telephonically; and
  • Ensure that pharmacy staff counsel customers about their prescription medication in the customer’s own language.

This is a major civil rights victory that will impact the health and safety of more than two million New Yorkers.

Read more about this victory in the New York Times, the Attorney General’s Office and NBC .

For more information check out Bad Medicine, a report by MRNY and the New York Lawyers for the Public Interest that documents the need for translation and interpretation services in New York’s pharmacies.

What began 16 months ago in community meetings in Bushwick, Brooklyn and Jackson Heights, Queens has catalyzed change throughout New York State.