Pharmacy Measure to Better Protect Limited English Proficient Consumers

March 30, 2012
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Assistant Speaker Rhoda Jacobs (D-Flatbush) Health Committee Chair Richard N. Gottfried, and Higher Education Committee Chair Deborah Glick today praised a measure included in the 2012-13 State Budget to better protect limited English proficient (LEP) consumers by requiring translation and interpretation services be provided at pharmacies statewide.

The measure (A.9057-D) requires the translation and interpretation of medication labels, warning labels and other written material. It also allows an LEP consumer to ask questions about their medications in order to understand pharmaceutical and health-related information. Pharmacies are required to provide these services for any LEP customer who requests them or fills a prescription that indicates that the individual is limited English proficient.

“This change will keep New York’s diverse population safer and more well-informed regarding their prescription medications,” said Ms. Jacobs.

The legislation will apply to pharmacies with eight or more outlets located within New York State. They will be responsible for providing translation and interpretation services in no more than seven languages per region, as determined by the Commissioner of Education using Census data. Mail order pharmacies will also be included under this measure. Translation and interpretation services may be provided by a pharmacy employee or a third-party contractor.