The idea of offering translated labels printed on bottles has sparked a reaction among pharmacists all over California, most of whom consider that the current system is good enough. Moreover, they have raised concerns regarding the cost and troubles involved in making larger labels, which will in turn require larger bottles. According to Jon Roth, chief executive officer of the Sacramento-based California Pharmacists Association, pharmacists consider that the potential for error involved in the measure is larger than its possible benefits, as pharmacists will be giving their customers information which they cannot validate themselves. Roth also expressed his concerns relating pharmacists’ liability for any translation mistakes, and the label requirement’s potential for disrupting pharmacies’ work flow.
All language-related measures are especially relevant due to California’s current population, of which 44 per cent speaks a language other than English at home. In 2009, a survey carried out by the Board itself found that bilingual information was one of the top five suggestions from customers when they were asked about the possibility of making labels easier to read.
About California State Board of Pharmacy and their Meeting
According to the information provided by Virginia Herold, executive officer of the board, the California State Board of Pharmacy regulates approximately 6,500 pharmacies, 500 hospitals and 140,000 other entities holding a pharmacy license. The last modification of the regulations was introduced on June 26, when the Board decided to increase the font size from 10 to 12. For the meeting on July 31, the board will be constituting a panel made up of experts from around the country, including the director of the New York Board of Pharmacy. The panel will be giving a presentation which will be followed by a public discussion.