Latebreakers: Many N.Y. pharmacies fail to offer foreign language labels

May 7, 2007

Latebreakers: Many N.Y. pharmacies fail to offer foreign language labels

Few New York City pharmacies offer prescription druglabels in languages other than English, despite havingmany limited English-proficient (LEP) customers,according to a study from the New York Academy ofMedicine. The study looked at a random selection of 200pharmacies from the 2,186 licensed pharmacies in New York City in 2006.

Participating pharmacies includedindependent drugstores, chains, and outpatient hospitaland clinic pharmacies. The study found that while 88%of surveyed R.Ph.s reported serving LEP customers daily,only 34% translated labels daily. The study noted that80% of pharmacies reported the ability to offer translationservices. Another 26% never translate labels despitelaws that require all healthcare providers that receivefederal funds to offer language services to LEP patients.