Walgreen’s Speaks Its Customers’ Languages

Dec 30, 2002
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Consumers picking up medicine at their local Walgreen’s pharmacy have the option of having their prescription labels printed in one of eight languages (including English).

The drugstore chain also boasts that approximately 40 percent of its pharmacists are bilingual. Walgreen’s spokeswoman, Carol Hively told the Omaha World-Herald that more than half of these speak Spanish.

The language option on prescriptions is one way to ensure that consumers take their medication properly.

Walgreen’s vice president of health services, Dennis O’Dell, told the World-Herald, “Even if a physician can give instructions in a patient’s native language, studies show that by the time the patients gets from the doctor’s office to the pharmacy, many have forgotten half the doctor’s directions about their prescribed medication.”

Moderator’s Comment: Does the shift in ethnic populations
signal that language classes need to become part of retailers’ formal training

We’ve heard that health facilities such as hospitals offer
(or reimburse for) second language classes for employees.
Anderson – Moderator

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