New York City Customers at about 700 pharmacies in New York State will soon be able to obtain information about their prescription drugs in five languages including English, according to published reports.
The Associated Press said that Target, Wal-Mart, Costco, A&P and Duane Reade made an agreement with the state government to provide translations of drug instructions in Spanish, Chinese, Italian, Russian and French.
An investigation by state attorney general Andrew Cuomo found that pharmacies often did not provide customers who don’t speak English with information about their drugs, according to AP.
The companies, which together have 700 stores in New York State, agreed with state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to counsel and provide written translations in Spanish, Chinese, Italian, Russian and French. The companies didn't agree to Polish translations, although other pharmacies agreed to that in previous deals with the attorney general.
Cuomo started investigating pharmacy policies and procedures after getting complaints from the organization Make the Road New York, a Brooklyn-based nonprofit that supports New York City's low-income and immigrant population.
The investigation found that pharmacies routinely fail to advise non-English speaking customers in their own language about the purpose, dosage and side effects of their medications.
Cuomo reached similar agreements last year with Rite Aid and CVS pharmacies.
"Prescription information can literally be a matter of life and death," Cuomo said in a written statement.