As California Considers Requiring Prescription
Drug Info be Offered in a Patient’s Language, ISI
Expert Available to Discuss Five Common
Making Language Meaningful Requires More Than a Literal Translation, Says ISI President George
Rimalower; Factors Like Colors, Numbers and Cultural Sensitivities Can Alter Meaning and Put
Communications at Risk
2010 Rxperts Southwest Conference & Expo
July 07, 2010 06:07 AM Eastern Daylight Time
--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Interpreting Services International, Inc.:
California is considering provisions that would require pharmacies to provide meaningful assistance to
consumers with limited-English proficiency. Healthcare providers nationwide will be paying attention,
because often what starts as a California legislative requirement ends up as a federal mandate.
According to California Senate Bill 1390, approximately 46 percent of American adults cannot
understand the label on their prescription drugs.
In June, the bill was amended in the Assembly to require that certain phrases on a prescription drug
label be translated into non-English languages. The bill also would require a pharmacy to provide non-
English patients with any other written information relevant to the prescription drug in the patient’s
language. For the latest version of California Senate Bill 1390, go here.
This is good news for all parties, according to ISI president George Rimalower, who has been
providing language and localization services to healthcare and other industries for three decades.
“There’s no room for error in healthcare communications,” said Rimalower. “Helping people
better understand how to take their medication reduces life-threatening errors while decreasing
overall provider costs by limiting the number of people who have to return to the doctor with
complications. But making language meaningful requires more than just a literal translation of
Rimalower is available immediately to address some of the most