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Pharmacy board drops plan to change access to medications like Plan B

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on Dec. 16, 2010 at 4:13 pm with 5 Comments »
December 17, 2010 2:24 pm

The state rule barring pharmacies from refusing to dispense medication will stand.

The rule, controversial mainly because of its implications for the Plan B morning-after contraception drug, will remain unchanged after the state Board of Pharmacy voted 5-1 today to reverse itself and drop its rulemaking process.

Votes by a member who was absent for the last vote, Kim Ekker, and the chairman who opposed a change but thought he couldn’t vote last time, Gary Harris, may have been the key. Additionally, a former advocate of a change, Al Linggi, switched his vote and added to the margin.

The last vote in November continued a rulemaking process the board started in June that could have paved the way for allowing pharmacies to refer patients to other stores.

That decision had halted a lawsuit over the rule by the owners of Ralph’s Thriftway in Olympia, who out of moral opposition don’t stock Plan B. Now the lawsuit presumably will continue.

The board said in a news release it reversed course after reviewing thousands of public comments that were overwhelmingly opposed to a change.

UPDATED to clarify that pharmacies, not individual pharmacists, are restricted by the rule.

Leave a comment Comments → 5
  1. The state rule does not bar pharmacists from refusing to dispense medications, it bars pharmacies from refusing. Not pharmacists, pharmacies. As long as there is a pharmacy tech present who is willing to dispense, for instance Plan B, the pharmacist can opt out. This is actually a rather significant point. Please share accurate information with the public, as they may be formulating opinions based on mistaken beliefs after reading this article.

  2. Jordan Schrader says:

    MyrtleM – You’re right, and I’ve edited the post to reflect that. Thanks.

    Jordan

  3. Nice. Interactive news.

  4. Jordan, That is a key point. The TNT ought to do a front page clarification tomorrow.

    Regardless, big government compelling pharmacies to dispence morally objectional drugs is immoral and very heavy handed. This really needs to go to the US Supreme Court because the 9th Circuit in SF is a big liberal mess that the US Supreme Court must frequently correct or reverse.

  5. Jordan Schrader says:

    ozark-

    It wasn’t wrong in the newspaper. This post did say “pharmacists” instead of “pharmacies” for a couple hours before it was changed, but it was correct in the print paper and has been correct when we’ve written about this in the past.

    Jordan

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