New York Pharmacies to Provide Foreign Language Prescription Instructions

Maryland pharmacy error attorneys serve a number of clients who do not speak English as their first language. Some of these clients have raised the issue of not being able to receive prescriptions or dosage instructions written or spoken in their native languages from big box pharmacies. The attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC believe that this shortcoming places a large number of citizens in danger of harmful pharmacy errors. According to the 2000 US Census, 667,357 Marylanders speak a language other than English in their homes.

As we discussed in an earlier post, Maryland pharmacists must provide medication counseling to patients when requested, and must provide written dosage instructions with prescriptions. Counseling and written instructions in English are useless to a pharmacy patient that has difficulty understanding the language.

Pharmacy Today reports that following an undercover investigation by New York Attorney General, Andrew Cuomo, Rite Aide and CVS have agreed to provide medication instructions in languages other than English at their New York locations. The investigation began after reports that pharmacies failed to provide side effect information and drug interaction warnings in patients’ native language. New York Rite Aid and CVS locations will now provide dosage and side effect information to patients in Russian, Spanish, Chinese, Italian, French and Polish. The companies also agreed to provide assistance using an over the phone translation service.

Our attorneys believe that Maryland pharmacies should follow suit and help ensure that all patients fully understand their medication dosage instructions and other relevant information.


You may be entitled to Maryland pharmacy injury compensation for a negligent pharmacist, pharmacy technician or other liable party.

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