Urgent messages to the California State Board of Pharmacy asking them approve regulations upholding the mandates of SB 472, which was signed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger in 2008, are needed by close of business tomorrow, Wednesday, March 10.
This law spoke to the need for readily-readable (in minimum 12-point font) Rx labels, and required both translated labels and use of interpreter services to offer personal medication information to patients at pharmacies. Advocacy groups for senior citizens, consumer protection, health and safety, and immigrants, plus pharmacy professionals, all supported the proposed measures. all While the CSBoP ‘s original draft of regulations mandated these improvements, the version approved on Feb. 17 , reversed the changes and would allow 10-point font to be used, would not require use of translated labels, and would make pharmacy-level interpreter services optional. Reversal of the health-protective provisions of the law is attributed to intense lobbying (and major gubernatorial campaign contributions) by national pharmacy chains and pharmaceutical companies. To make matters worse, the day before the Feb. 17 vote, Gov. Schwarzenegger appointed an executive from a major chain drug company to fill an open position on the CSBoP, and her vote swung the Board’s recommendations, as reported by the LA Times:
Drug executive cast key vote to kill labeling law
Pharmacy board was poised to OK measure opposed by one of the governor’s major donors until he named a CVS/Pharmacy official to the panel……
For more background on the issues, please visit the websites of the California Pan Ethnic Health Network, Gray Panthers California, Consumer Union’s Safe Patient Project. The CSBoP website contains the text of the law and relevant materials on pending Patient-Centered Prescription Label regulations.
Send your by comments March 10 directly to Carolyn Klein, Manager, Legislation and Regulations for the CSBoP at:
California residents can send comments via the online form on Consumer Union’s Safe Patient Project .