Monday, August 22, 2005

Pharmacists refusing to dispense prescriptions

All Illinois pharmacies that carry contraceptives must fill prescriptions for the morning-after pill after legislators Tuesday backed making permanent a temporary order by Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

The governor in April filed an emergency rule requiring Illinois pharmacies to dispense all such prescriptions promptly after reports that pharmacists around the nation were refusing to fill prescriptions for emergency contraception based on moral objections.

Legislators on a state committee that oversees such rules chose on Tuesday not to override the rule, clearing the way for it to become permanent. The rule does not officially become permanent until it is filed with the secretary of state's office, which is expected to take place within the next week.

Any pharmacist or pharmacy in the state that sells contraceptives approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration must fill all contraceptives, including the so-called morning after pill, under the rule. The rule also states that if the contraceptive is not in stock, the pharmacy must provide an alternative drug, order the drug or transfer the prescription to another local pharmacy.

I support this, if a doctor prescribes the medication it should be filled. The only time a pharmacist should prevent the filling of a prescription is if he or she believes there was an error in the prescription or there is some other medication that the patient is on would cause complications.

Especially in rural areas where there is not another pharmacy just around the corner this is a huge issue. I often wonder if some of these same pharmacists who are refusing to fill a script for a morning after pill would feel about a Viagra script for a man who was using it for sexual relations outside of marriage. Are they grilling those who present these scripts?

If a pharmacist feels it is against his or her moral or religious beliefs to fill a prescription it is up to the owner of the pharmacy to provide that service for a patient or they do have the right to decide not to carry any prescription birth control at all.

I realize the the ACLJ which is the source link listed above for this Tribune article doesn't agree with me. However if you are interested in finding out more about what they would like to do to prevent patients from having legal prescriptions filled? It's a good place to read about it.


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