and Target, the two largest retail chain stores in the
Corporation, the largest wholesale club operator in the country, have agreed to
customers with prescription medication instructions in their primary
addition, A & P, one of the largest supermarkets on the East Coast operating
Pathmark, Super Fresh, and Food Emporium among others, also entered into the
same agreement with the Attorney General. Under the terms of these agreements,
the companies will counsel all pharmacy customers about prescription
information in their own language and provide written translations in Spanish,
Chinese, Italian, Russian, and French.
agreements announced Tuesday are the result of an undercover investigation into
the policies and procedures of pharmacies, conducted by the Attorney Generals
Office, which found that pharmacies 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. Attorney General Andrew Cuomo
announced the first of these groundbreaking agreements, with CVS and Rite-Aid,
in November of last year.
to understand prescription information can literally be a matter of life and
death, said Cuomo.There are over one
million people in
who dont speak English as their first language, and this agreement will ensure
they have the medical information needed to protect their health and well-being
and that of their families.
is defined by its diverse population, and it is our job to make sure that every
member of that population, whether English is their first language or not, has
access to adequate assistance in understanding their medication.
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.
to census data, over one million New Yorkers do not speak English well or at
all. The health and safety of these New Yorkers are put at risk when they are
unable to comprehend the instructions for using their medication.New Yorkers with limited ability to speak
English have experienced allergic reactions, adverse side effects, and other
health problems due to their inability to understand medical instructions, and
in some instances, have refrained from taking medication at all.
agreements with the Attorney General affect more than 700 stores statewide 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
- Provide prescription labels and
directions regarding dosage and safety information in the six languages
that are spoken by more than one percent of the population of
; New York
- Provide additional assistance
orally in all languages; and
- Ensure that pharmacy staff
counsel customers about their prescription medication in the customers
Attorney Generals Office received complaints about the practices of