Every New Yorker should understand his or her prescription medication labels and should have safe access to prescription medications. Make the Road New York (MRNY), Center for Popular Democracy (CPD) and New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI) have championed the issue of safe access to prescription medications in New York State by advocating for the passage of legislation designed to address patient safety. As a result of our efforts, the efforts of Governor Andrew Cuomo's Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT), and the New York State Legislature, pharmacy language access and label standardization legislation (SafeRx) was passed in the New York State Budget in April 2012. This is the first state law of its kind in the United States, propelling New York as a leader in protecting consumers.
While enactment of SafeRx has been a tremendous victory, the New York State Board of Pharmacy (SBOP), comprised of pharmacy industry representatives, is tasked with developing regulations to implement SafeRx before it goes into full effect. In response, we are producing this report to make recommendations that balance consumer interests with industry interests and that are based on medical literature and industry best practices. In Part One, our report describes what is required under SafeRx and includes answers to frequently asked questions about SafeRx. In Part Two we discuss our SafeRx recommendations.