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Should pharmacies be required to translate drug labels for non-English speakers?




New prescription bottles lie on a counter at a Target pharmacy April 28, 2005 in Chicago, Illinois.
New prescription bottles lie on a counter at a Target pharmacy April 28, 2005 in Chicago, Illinois.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

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The California State Board of Pharmacy is set to consider that issue in a July 31 meeting. Currently, pharmacies are mandated to provide interpretation for non-English speakers at the pharmacy counter.

Next week's meeting will focus on whether to expand that requirement to include written translations in selected languages of prescription drug labels.  

Proponents say translated labels would eliminate the risks posed by medication taken incorrectly by non-English speakers. But critics maintain that the current system is working the way it should, and the added requirement could mean liability issues down the line.

Guests:

Sarah de Guia, Director of Government Affairs at the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, an Oakland-based non-profit organization advocating for public policies that address the health needs of communities of color

Jon Roth, Chief Executive Officer of the California Pharmacists Association, which represents pharmacists, technicians, and student pharmacists from all practice settings in the state