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November 14, 2008

CVS, Rite Aid Will Provide Language Services for Non-English-Speaking Customers Filling Prescriptions in New York State

CVS and Rite Aid pharmacies in New York have agreed to provide customers who fill prescriptions with spoken and written language services in Chinese, French, Italian, Russian, Polish and Spanish, state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo (D) announced on Thursday, Long Island Newsday reports. The estimated cost of implementation of the agreements, which will affect more than 2,000 pharmacies in New York, remains undetermined.

According to a statement, the agreements come after Cuomo launched an undercover investigation in response to a complaint from the not-for-profit organization Make the Road New York that pharmacies "routinely fail to advise non-English-speaking customers in a language that allows them to understand the purpose, dosage and side effects of their medications." New York law mandates that pharmacies "personally provide information about prescription drugs to all patients, orally and in writing," according to the statement.

Cheryl Slavinksy, director of public relations for Rite Aid, said that the company began to work on the language services before the investigation began. "We do believe it's important for people to get the right medication advice for their prescriptions," she said.

Mike DeAngelis, director of public relations for CVS, in a statement said that in the past the company has provided language services, such as "telephonic language interpretation services for over 150 languages to assist our pharmacists in their counseling of patients who are not proficient in English" (Chang, Long Island Newsday, 11/13).

More on: Language Access 


Announcing a Major Expansion of Paid Sick Days

It's a new day for working class New Yorkers!

On January 17, Mayor de Blasio, City Council Speaker Mark-Viverito and members of the City Council announced an exciting new proposal to expand New York City's Paid Sick Days law, which MRNY and our partners helped to win last spring!

Under the original law, set to take effect this April, employers with 15 employees or more will be required to provide 5 paid sick days -- impacting one million workers. Mayor de Blasio's proposal would extend this requirement to businesses with 5 employees or more.

The new proposal also includes manufacturing workers (who were left out of the original law). Hundreds of thousands more New Yorkers will be able to take a paid day off to care for themselves or a sick family member. Read more...