Posted By P & L Blog

Foreign Prescriptions

Are U.S. pharmacies shortchanging their customers?  A multi-state study conducted by the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern found that more than 50% cannot give their Spanish-speaking customers translated medication instructions.


A Spanish-speaker reported having applied a cream on her baby eleven times a day when she should have applied it once a day.  She made the mistake because the Spanish word for eleven is "once".  What would have happened if the prescription was for an oral medication instead of a topical treatment?


One easy way pharmacies can help ensure patient safety is by having patient information brochures for many common medications translated into the languages their customers speak.  This will not only increase their customers' loyalty, it will also reduce the pharmacies' liability risk.



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