Complaints Filed Against Pharmacists Who Refused EC Refills

The New York Civil Liberties Union has filed complaints on behalf of health care providers whose patients were unable to refill prescriptions for emergency contraception at local pharmacies. According to the complaints, pharmacists at CVS and Rite Aid outlets filled initial prescriptions for emergency contraception (EC), but refused to recognize the refills authorized on the prescriptions, according to Long Island Newsday. A supervisor of a pharmacist in a Saratoga Springs CVS that refused to refill an EC prescription allegedly defended the pharmacist on the grounds that EC was a “bad idea” and that the woman who needed the refill was “irresponsible,” according to Kaiser.

Mike DeAngelis, a spokesman for CVS, said that he could not yet comment on the specific allegations, adding that the company has a policy to fill all legally prescribed medications, including EC, in a timely manner, according to Newsday.

NYCLU Reproductive Rights Project Director Elisabeth Benjamin issued a statement on the necessity of pharmacists to respect the decision of a woman and her health care provider: “These pharmacists obstructed the patients’ access to medication based on their own uninformed and biased opinions about the patients’ sexual activityÉ Pharmacists should be guided by sound medicine, not moralistic judgments.”

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Kaiser Daily WomenÕs Health Policy 8/17/2006; NYCLU Press Release 8/15/2006; Newsday 8/15/2006

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