California Bill Requiring Pharmacists to Provide Patients With Translated Directions for Use Awaits Governor’s Signature

A bill passed by the California Legislature would require the state’s pharmacies to provide translations of prescription drug labels and medication instructions into any of five specified languages. If signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown, the bill, AB 1073, would take effect January 1, 2016, and would require translated directions “printed on the prescription container, label, or on a supplemental document” in Spanish, Tagalog, Chinese, Vietnamese, or Korean, to be provided upon the request of the patient. If the bill becomes law, dispensers would be authorized to use translations made available by the California State Board of Pharmacy according to the official bill summary. Currently, pharmacies in California are not required to provide translated prescription drug labels or medication instructions. “A California Board of Pharmacy survey found that about 70 percent of pharmacies offered some translations, but their accuracy could not be determined,” according to Kaiser Health News.
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