Media Contact

Larissa Doucette

Aimed to increase patient safety, a new law in New York State will require many pharmacies to provide patient counseling and drug information in a language spoken by the patient, if the patient has limited proficiency in English. The law is effective as of March 30, 2013, and will apply to “any pharmacy that is part of a group of eight or more pharmacies, located within New York state and owned by the same corporate entity.” The pharmacies will be required to “provide free, competent oral interpretation services and translation services” as well as translations of medication labels and other written material to patients with limited English proficiency filling a prescription at their pharmacy. The Albany Times Union indicates that the law requires translation into languages spoken by at least 1% of the residents in a particular metropolitan area. The Albany Times Unionalso reports that the law was passed as part of the state’s budget, and notes that many pharmacies already provide translation services.