April 2, 2005

Blago issues emergency order to counter radical pharmacists

The Gov has wisely issued an emergency order to counter efforts by fundamentalist groups who are trying to push for pharmacists to refuse to prescribe birth control and other drugs if they feel morally opposed to them.
Gov. Rod Blagojevich filed an emergency rule Friday requiring pharmacies that sell contraceptives to fill prescriptions for birth control quickly, following recent incidents in which a Chicago pharmacist refused to fill orders for contraceptives because of moral opposition.
"Our regulation says that if a woman goes to a pharmacy with a prescription for birth control, the pharmacy or the pharmacist is not allowed to discriminate or to choose who he sells it to or who he doesn't sell it to," Blagojevich said. "The pharmacy will be expected to accept that prescription and fill it. ... No delays. No hassles. No lectures."
His department also filed a formal complaint against an Osco pharmacy in Chicago's South Loop where a pharmacist did not fill orders for contraceptives. The pharmacy was cited for "failing to provide appropriate pharmaceutical care to a patient," Blagojevich said.
An excellent piece at David Brock's "Media Matters for America" explores the issue and the role of fundamentalist extremist organizations and their deceptions in encouraging health care practitioners to refuse to do their duties. It also provides further instances of pharmacists refusing to fill prescriptions for their clients.

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