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Drug labeling required in 5 languages approved by legislature

If signed by the governor, information would have to be provided in Spanish, Tagalog, Chinese, Vietnamese or Korean.

California lawmakers unanimously passed a bill that would require pharmacists there to provide drug labels and medication instructions for prescriptions in five languages other than English, the Kaiser Health News reported on the Kitsap Sun website.

The information, upon request from a patient, would have to be provided in Spanish, Tagalog, Chinese, Vietnamese or Korean – the most common languages in the state after English.

If Gov. Jerry Brown signs the bill into law, California would be the second state to require this of pharmacists. New York has a similar law that requires only chain pharmacies with eight or more stores to provide materials in other languages, however California's law applies to all pharmacies no matter what the size.

"We're hoping this improves medical adherence and saves lives," said Sarah de Guia, executive director of the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, which supported the bill, according to the report.

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