Some WA pharmacists want to continue forcing their morality on customers

I know we’ve done this before, but I’m still frustrated by this issue.

In this story, we discover that Washington State’s new rules requiring pharmacists to dispense Plan B are being challenged. I knew this would happen. The suing pharmacists continue to feel that their beliefs are more important than their customers’ needs.

I can not get behind the idea that someone’s beliefs, whether religious-based or otherwise, can dictate whether a woman will be able to get her Plan B prescription filled.

The article highlights another problem with some pharmacists:

I guess what it comes down to for me is that if you don’t want to dispense all forms of medication, then you should not become a pharmacist. Don’t even start down that career path knowing that you will eventually have to sell people birth control, condoms, and dispense Plan B if a doctor prescribes it. If you’ve come to this belief later in life, then I guess you should start looking for a new profession.

I’m waiting for ladyfoxfyre to show up…

I’ll probably regret trying to raise a legitimate concern in a Pit thread, but why should a pharmacy have to dispense any product they don’t want to? I personally think Plan B should be available to whoever wants it, but I don’t like the idea of forcing someone to sell it.

If the pharmacy won’t sell it, how will you making it “available to whoever wants it”? This strikes me as like the anti-abortion flank attack – which has been pretty successful – which is not to worry about whether abortion itself is legal but simply to make sure there aren’t any doctors willing or able to perform it.

As to the OP: I actually think it’s good that this challenge is is Washington because I think the pharmacists will lose (as they should IMO). The only plaintiff I can see having a colorable case is an established pharmacist who says he or she is now being asked to do something that violates their conscience (dispense Plan B), that for all the years of their career they were not asked to do. But for NEW pharmacists: Hell yes, if you don’t wan to dispense as prescribed, find another line of work.

They don’t have to. They just need to pick another profession besides pharmacy.

I think the pharms will lose as well. I wish they weren’t wasting my money by fighting the state, so I say unto them…get a different job!

I think I’ll become a pharmacist and then refuse to distribute insulin. After all, the diabetics wouldn’t need insulin if they hadn’t been such gluttons, and gluttony is a sin. I’m just adhering to my own morals.

Also, I won’t distribute antihistamines because I believe Og gives people allergies to punish them for tax evasion in a past life.

While I think the pharmacists in question are assfaces, I also think they have a right to run their businesses as they see fit. If they don’t want to sell a certain product, they should not be forced to. Let them lose money.

Why wouldn’t that be the situation here-- ie, this isn’t a new pharmacist who is bringing up the case, is it?

Seems to me that if pharmacists are licensed by the state, then the state has the right to require them to stock any given medicine. You know that going in, so tough luck for you. If the state didn’t require a license and anyone could open a pharmacy, then I’d side with those who want to pick and choose which products they sell.

The other thing to remember is that the eastern part of Washington is much more sparsely populated than the Seattle area. It may not be as easy as saying, “Find another pharmacy,” because the next pharmacy may be 40 miles away. If you’re on a break from work, or don’t have a reliable car, or whatever, you as a patient may not be able to get these medications in practice, even if they are available in theory.

Unfortunately this only works well when there is competing businesses. If you have limited options within an hours drive, you have effectively locked out the ability to recieve a medication on moral grounds.

If anyone, the town docs should be informed so they can either stock it themselves (legal?) or refer the customer to a pharm who will dispense it.

Well, unless you’re the only pharmacist in town, I don’t see how you would be violating my rights by either of those admittedly silly practices.

And if you got together a bunch more, like-minded pharmacists, trying to make an end-run around the legality of insulin or antihistamines? Well, assuming there was any demand at all, one smart pharmacist would come and open up in your town and reap the fruits of your silly morality. Free market and all.

In the grand scheme of the universe things like this are only a tiny portion of the market for pharmacy services. The big money is in folks who require multiple daily meds not one shot solve my problem with a couple pills type drugs.

Wait, I’m confused. Plan B is now OTC, right (although it’s literally over the **counter **- it’s got to be handed to you by the pharmacist, not stocked on open shelves next to the Advil) so what does this mean:

What prescription? I’m not understanding the second sentence at all. :confused:

Plan B is still prescription for people under 18.

I’ve also heard of an incident where a pharmacist was refusing to fill a prescription for antibiotics because the script was from an abortion clinic:

From here.

The solution is simple: A pharmacist should be required to provide monetary support sufficient to provide an acceptable standard of living for every child that is born as a direct result of the pharmacist’s refusal to dispense. Put your money where your mouth is.

Reincarnation as a form of tax evasion is probably the most impressive method i’ve heard of. :slight_smile:

To be fair, I would imagine that in these pharmacists’s minds the question is not just “my morals trump other’s morals” but “saving a life trumps other’s morals”. I don’t agree with it, but I think it’s higher a case than just “in every case, i’ll put my morals over someone else”. Murder (as they see it) is a big enough problem that stopping it is a legitimate reason to put your own views over those of other people. And while I think this is a pretty sneaky way to get past the law, I’m not certain I wouldn’t do the same for a cause I thought equally important.

I’m not entirely sure I agree with one particular approach, but I like drachillix’s idea - pharmacists should be required to inform local doctors of any prescriptions they’ll refuse to fill, so they can refer them to someone who will.

I don’t know; I was just theorizing the only type of plaintiff that IMO would have standing.


In many small communities, there IS only one pharmacist in town.

The free market cannot create enough customers to support two pharmacists if there’s only enough customers for one.

Just out of curiosity, what remedies are available in such a situation? I think I’d be approaching nuclear meltdown if someone refused filling my script.

I guess my mind wanders to thinking what I would do if I was required to dispense a drug that was anathema to my morals - say, for example, one that purported to “cure or prevent” latent homosexuality in kids. I’d say, “I’m not dispensing it, so fuck you. Go somewhere else - or online - if you need it.”