Availability of Spanish prescription labels

Iman Sharif, Sarah Lo, Philip O. Ozuah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The research team conducted a cross-sectional telephone survey of all pharmacies in the Bronx, New York (99.4% participation rate) to determine availability of Spanish prescription labels. One hundred twenty five pharmacies (78%) were small independent pharmacies; 36 (22%) were large-chain pharmacies. Overall, 111 (69%) stated that they could provide prescription labels in Spanish. Overall, for all the pharmacy ZIP codes, the mean proportion of the population that was Spanish-speaking was 46.8% (range 11% to 71.6%). Seventy-eight (48%) pharmacies were located in areas where more than 50% of the population were Spanish-speaking, 48 (30%) were located in areas with 25.1-50% Spanish-speakers, and 35 (22%) were in areas with up to 25% Spanish-speakers. Small independent pharmacies were more likely than large chain pharmacies to provide prescription labels in Spanish (71% vs. 61%, p=0.25). All the pharmacists commented that a patient must specifically request a Spanish prescription label in order to receive one. Pharmacies located in areas with the highest proportion of Spanish speakers were more likely to provide prescription labels in Spanish (82% vs. 62% vs. 49%; p=.001). Of the 111 pharmacies that could provide Spanish labels, 95 (86%) used a computer program to perform the translation and 16(14%) used a lay employee. Of pharmacies using a computer program, only one had a Spanish-speaking pharmacist who could check and correct the computer translations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-69
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of health care for the poor and underserved
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2006


  • Interpretation
  • Latino
  • Prescription labels
  • Spanish
  • Translation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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