Non-English Speakers Demand Prescription Drug Labels Be Translated

Life is easy for foreigners in America, where earlier assimilation standards are now considered mean-spirited. Liberal values mean immigration of various legality is all about newbie rights and nothing about their responsibility. These days the non-Americans hardly need knowledge of English to get their free stuff.

The medical field is already a free-fire zone for lawyers and when English illiterates are added to the mix, a powerful combination of forces come together. The results include multi-lingual services for diverse foreigners (funded by citizen taxpayers) because doctors don’t want a lawsuit medical accident happening from a language misunderstanding. Every hospital and medical practice that receives federal funding (like Medicare) are required to provide interpreters to any patient who needs one.

Nobody ever suggests that foreign persons residing in the United States might learn English, for their own safety at least.

The latest conquest eyed by diversity hacks is prescription drug labeling, because it’s so UNFAIR to foreigners to make them take free drugs that have instructions in ENGLISH.

Of course, additional services tacked on to prescription drugs adds to the cost for citizens, who now will pay through ObamaCare. And there’s no end to languages that will be demanded. They want Chinese, Russian, Spanish, Korean, and Vietnamese. now, but what about the indigenous languages of the new Central American indigenous aliens like Kanjobal and Quiche?

Listen to the audio account from the California Report:

Resistance to Translating Prescription Drug Labels, KQED, July 29, 2014

(Getty Images)

Right now, drug labels appear only in English in California, yet 44 percent of Californians speak a language other than English at home. (Getty Images)

Every Saturday morning, a steady stream of Chinese and Vietnamese patients line up at the Paul Hom Asian Clinic in Sacramento. Most of them speak little to no English.

Patient assistance director Danny Tao says people come here to get free medical consultations and drug prescriptions. But, he says that when patients take those prescriptions to be filled, they don’t understand the instructions on the label.

“They go pick them up, and we don’t exactly know if they’re taking it or not — or if they know how to take it,” Tao said.

Tao says drug labels at most pharmacies in California are printed only in English. That puts patients in danger of taking of any number or errors — taking too much medication or not enough, taking it at the wrong time of day, and more. Such mistakes can cause serious harm or even death.

Tao says that for the drugs his clinic supplies directly, all have a bilingual label.

“It’s going to be English/Chinese or English/Vietnamese,” he said. “By the time they get home they know exactly how to take the medication, because it’s in their own language.”

This week California’s Board of Pharmacy will discuss new regulations that would require all pharmacies in California to provide translated labels on prescription drug bottles. Statewide, 44 percent of Californians speak a language other than English at home. New York approved a similar rule last year to make it easier for non-English speakers to take their medications properly and avoid costly mistakes.

But the board’s executive officer Virginia Herold says the move is very controversial. For starters, there is a concern that requiring translated labels would require larger bottles of pills to fit all the text. But she says patients don’t like larger bottles.

“They decant the drug out of the large container, put it in a baggie or someplace else,” Herold said. “There you’ve separated the drug from the container, now the instructions on how to take it have been separated.”

Pharmacists don’t like the proposal because they say it opens them to liability if there’s a mistake in the translation. Brian Warren is with the California Pharmacists Association.

“If the label is translated into Russian and there’s an error, and I’m a pharmacist that does not speak Russian, I cannot verify that that error exists,” Warren said.

At present, the state’s board of pharmacy includes on its website translations of basic instructions such as “take one pill at bedtime” in five languages: Chinese, Russian, Spanish, Korean, and Vietnamese.

Proponents of translating labels say that concerns about the change are outweighed by the problems patients who speak limited English face under the status quo.

“There’s a risk right now,” said Sarah de Guia, director of government affairs for the California Pan Ethnic Health Network, an advocacy group. “They can’t understand anything on their label because the label is not in their language.”

De Guia says the expansion of insurance under the Affordable Care Act places more urgency on the issue.

“You’re going to have 1.5 million more limited-English proficient individuals in the health care system now that the ACA has passed.

The discussions are in the earliest stages, and if new regulations go forward, many details need to be worked out, including how many languages press and who would have responsibility for translation.