Department of HealthRules Comment

Aug 17 2010 4:41PM I believe the Board of Pharmacy should compel all Washington pharmacies to provide full access to all medications prescribed by medical professionals. Access by patients is critical and should be mandated by the Board. Pharmacies and pharmacists should not be allowed to pick and choose which medications they will and will not carry, based on their beliefs and/or prejudices. I was surprised that no hearing was scheduled for the capital city, Olympia. I would have attended to voice my comments.
Aug 17 2010 6:04PM If we allow the filling of a particular prescription to be open to the individual decision of the dispensing pharmacist, based on his/her ethical concerns, we are allowing the prerogatives of non physicians to take precedence over that of the prescribing physician determined in private consultation with the patient. This is a dangerous and frivolous standard, one that can have many unforeseen consequences. A pharmacist may erroneously assume a prescription is to be used for a purpose that he/she thinks unethical when in actuality it is not. The patient has no responsibility to explain to a pharmacist the purpose of a particular prescription. The pharmacist should not be allowed to act on an assumption of how a product may be used against the pharmacist's ethical concerns. Serious health consequences could result from such an erroneous interaction. If an injury or death resulted, would the pharmacist's hands be clean? When a physician writes a prescription, that doctor is taking responsibility for the actions, interactions and reactions of that drug with the patient. But who takes responsibility for what happens if the patient is refused that prescription at the pharmacy? In my opinion, the pharmacy itself should be held responsible. While an individual pharmacist may disagree philosophically with a particular medical practice, if that practice is legal in this state, it is that pharmacy's responsibility to fill the prescription. If the product is not immediately available, it should be treated like any prescription that may be ordered overnight or otherwise obtained. Each pharmacy in this state should be responsible for filling any and all legal prescriptions it receives, regardless of personal pharmacist ethical concerns. If one pharmacist objects on these grounds, it should not relieve that pharmacy of the responsibility to have the prescription filled promptly. While I can sympathize with a pharmacist's concerns about the ethics of some medical practices and prescriptions, the patient's privacy and right to have that prescription filled are primary.
Aug 18 2010 9:07AM I concur that there is a need to ensure that patients have access to medications in a timely manner based on a recognized clinical need without a person's ethical standards becoming the sole reason for refusing to fill a valid, as defined by law, prescription. I am very concerned that a failure to carefully word such a rule revision will result in the need for pharmacies to stock an expanded inventory of both branded and non-branded medications, that would not be tied to any ethical reason to not dispense, to meet the language of this rule. Because a provider orders an expensive, new antibiotic that is of no clinical benefit over the existing branded or generic that the pharmacy currently stocks, the rule could force the pharmacy to have this product available or suffer punitive action under the rule. With the thousands of medications available in this country, no pharmacy could expand their inventory to ensure immediate access to all medications and still stay in business. Pharmacies keep inventories of medications to meet repetitive requests, as well as medications to meet emergency situations. Pharmacies historically have ordered non-stocked medications for next day delivery (with the patient's approval) or actively looked for other pharmacies that could meet the patient's immediate need. Just make sure the rule recognises the core issue and deals with this issue, the refusal to fill prescriptions for personal, ethical reasons not clinical or inventory availability.
Aug 20 2010 8:21AM I wish to re-iterate the testimony made by Cedar River Clinics, a nonprofit women's healthcare provider, in 2007. Since then, Judy Thompson has retired, but our organization's concerns and experience remain the same today: Testimony to the Washington Board of Pharmacy Public Hearing March 29, 2007 Submitted by Judy Thompson, PhD, CPHRM, HRDP Director of Quality Assurance/Risk Management & Human Resources Cedar River Clinics in Tacoma, Renton and Yakima Our organization provides abortion, birth control and well woman health care in Renton, Tacoma, and Yakima serving a very large geographic region. We believe that healthcare should be safe and accessible. Safety occurs when the healthcare provided across disciplines is seamless. Accessibility is seamless when a client with a legal prescription can go to a pharmacy and have it filled. We ask that an important member of the healthcare team, the pharmacist and the pharmacy staff, help keep healthcare services seamless, safe and accessible. I would like to tell you what happened to one of our clients. This experience illustrates why we are so concerned about refusals. We provided an abortion for a woman and afterward, when we called her pharmacy – the only pharmacy in the area that was contracted by her insurance carrier –to give them the prescription, the pharmacist explained she knew “who we were” and she was “morally unable” to fill the prescription. In this case the prescription was for three post-abortion medications: antibiotics, pain-killers, and a medication that helps stop bleeding. The pharmacy was refusing to fill the prescription based upon the type of legal health care procedure the woman had received, and the clinic who provided her care. We believe this refusal is far beyond the bounds of pharmacist discretion. This pharmacist made a moral judgment about the client, and could have placed this client’s health in jeopardy. Failure to fill this prescription was potentially life threatening. We think the Board of Pharmacy should expect pharmacists to put the patient’s needs above their own personal beliefs. We ask you to ensure that when a patient presents a valid prescription that it is filled without delay. We serve clients from a large geographic region. In some of the towns where our clients live, there is only one pharmacy. Going to a different pharmacy is definitely not a solution. Thank you, for the opportunity to speak to you today.
Aug 20 2010 11:22AM NO RELIGIOUS EXEMPTIONS FOR PUBLICLY LICENSED DISPENSING PHARMACIES From: katie@imt.net Sent: Thursday, August 19, 2010 11:10 PM To: DOH WSBOP; katie@imt.net Subject: pharmacists must sell all the drugs as prescribed 100819 thurs 9:57 pm pdt you pharmacists want special religious exemptions so you don't have to do your well paid job. get out of being a pharmacist, go be a tent preacher, and then someone who is willing to help *all* the public--including women, can get your license and your job. who do you think you are??????? i don't go to your church so don't bring your fundamentalist church into my medical dispensary. get out and go away, go be a pharmacist in your fundamentalist church, take care of your co-religionists and tell each other how holy you are. your *job* is to receive, hold and sell legal drugs to the entire public--and that includes women, that are ordered by doctors. if you believe that is an evil job and a sin and against your conscience, then get out, and stop taking up the room and the buildings and the limited number of pharmacy licenses that small towns can support. get out and do something else, because you are *not* a pharmacist, you want to be the judge of our morals. we don't pay you and give you a public license to be the judge of our morals. leave and go preach to your fellow fundamentalist nuts. you belong with the moslem fundamentalists who also hate women. Kathryn Vestal
Aug 21 2010 8:53AM Medications, prescribed privately by a licensed professional, are no different than any other private matter. PRIVATE and a personal RIGHT! The government does not belong in our "bedrooms". A pharmacist who objects personally to dispensing a drug, should remove himself from the situation. No different than a nurse who has an personal objection to performing a procedure (ex:vasectomy, breast augmentation, etc.) Or a checker selling cigarettes when he objects to smoking, a vegetarian serving meat, or a worker at a movie theater who is offended by an explicit movie. Get over it, or find another job. Thanks
Aug 21 2010 11:21AM Do NOT change the rule. The Board adopted a fair and effective rule that requires pharmacies to dispense all legal, FDA-approved prescriptions without discrimination or delay. Enforce that ruling!
Aug 23 2010 12:22PM This is very simple. A professional organization has filed suit to avoid their professional responsibilities, due to their religious objections. They took an oath, they knew when they trained for this job that they would be dispensing medications, including birth control, narcotics, viagra. They chose this profession, which is fairly well paid, has regular hours, and is low stress. Nobody forced them into this profession, and they shouldn't be able to pick and choose which medications they dispense and which they don't. I haven't seen one objection to oral contraceptives which interfere with conception and/or implantation of a fertilized egg, narcotics which could be dispensed to addicts, or viagra which circumvents God's will about whether a man can have an erection or not. Their only 'conscientious objection' involves a woman's access to Emergency Contraception because, apparently, God's will that allowed her to be raped, or the condom to fail, or any other circumstance that may have allowed an egg to be fertilized, takes precedence to her rights but apparently in no other case. This is discrimination, and I can promise you, if you allow them to avoid their professional responsibility in this instance, you'll be hit with lawsuits from women who are victimized by these so-called Professionals. They have other options, other careers but they chose this one. Require them to fulfill their obligations. The women that come in to ask for Emergency Contraception are going to be uncomfortable, embarrassed, and could even be the victim of rape or incest. When a pharmacist refuses to give them a drug they're legally entitled to, it further victimizes the woman. If they go to the only pharmacy near them, then have to travel another 60 miles...it makes their access to Emergency Contraception either impossible or an undue burden on them. Please use your common sense and require these professionals to fulfill their legal duties according to the oath they took.
Aug 23 2010 3:31PM Do NOT change the rule. The Board adopted a fair and effective rule that requires pharmacies to dispense all legal, FDA-approved prescriptions without discrimination or delay. Enforce that ruling! There is no place for personal predjudices in the provision of health services to all clients. Pharmacists who state they have "moral" or religious objections must fine employment away from these retail obligations.
Aug 23 2010 6:01PM I cannot believe anyone in their right mind would think it was appropriate for someone working in a pharmacy to be able to deny a prescription to a woman for the "morning after" pill because of the pharmacy worker's personal beliefs. If someone is employed in that capacity, they took the employment knowing the potential conflicts they might personally experience. They have no right once employed to then pick and choose which prescriptions they will fill and which they will not. They need to resign or be fired. Furthermore, if this precedent is established, what would the next objection be? Citizens have the right to expect there will be no personal interference with medications by anyone once they have been prescribed.
Aug 24 2010 9:41AM I find the notion that this is about assuring that 'customers' (women) are able to access prescribed medications highly disingenuous and dishonest. This is about allowing pharmacies and their employees to deny legal medications to customers while simutaneously trying to force a set of religious beliefs down our collective throats. I'm offended that state employees are engaging in such Orwellian double speak. If pharmacists want to deny women effective contraception and emergency contraception they should be required to post public signs stating this so that women aren't subjected to being shamed and lectured by the terminally sanctimonious. Likewise I would love to know why this issue has been revisited by the Pharmacy board. Whoever made the decision to do so should be replaced. This is not the place to force your religion down our collective throats
Aug 24 2010 7:52PM Since this is a democracy, all pharmacists who are licensed to serve the public should honor all prescriptions and fill them.
Aug 25 2010 10:42AM As I testified before these rules were adopted, you must protect the right of conscience of pharmacists. We, as a society, must protect the right of conscience of all individuals. The proposed compromise after the ensuing lawsuit of facilitated referral by pharmacists, does not go far enough to protect their rights. Facilitated referral makes those who object to a medication for reasons of conscience to be complicit in providing it. I also want to make it clear, that since this came about because of Plan B, we are not talking about a life saving medication. In fact, many object to it because we consider it a life taking medication. If it were life saving, a woman should be able to get it from any emergency room. As a physician, if a woman comes to my office seeking an abortion, I do not and should not have an obligation to refer her to someone who does abortion. Abortion is very rarely if at all life saving (if someone needs a life saving procedure they can present to an emergency room to get their care) and for me to refer her for this procedure would be complicit in what she is seeking to do, take the life of her child. As a physician, I am supposed to do no harm. Taking life, even complicit, is harm. The rules you adopt should not require a pharmacist to dispense a medication that they object to because of right of conscience. The rules you adopt should not require them to provide facilitated referral for a medication that they object to because of right of conscience. The rules you adopt should not require a pharmacy to stock medications that they object to. We are not truly talking about difficulty in obtaining medication, which really does not exist to any significant extent, especially for Plan B. These rules violated the right of conscience of pharmacists and pharmacy owners and that is why you ended up with a protracted lawsuit and are now redoing the rules. I only hope we get them right this time.
Aug 26 2010 12:48PM I feel absolutely strongly that all pharmacists MUST fill any legal prescriptions prescribed to a patient!! This is a dangerous, unhealthy and unnecessary rule change. People rely on pharmacists to dispense medications safely and as prescribed. We rely on them for information about potential side effects. We count on them to tell us how to take the medication correctly. We don't count on them to develop a treatment plan! Because of geography and or health insurance status, many of us are limited as to where we can get the medications legally prescribed to us for our health. That decision belongs between a care-provider and patient and NOT because a particular pharmacist agrees or disagrees with a diagnosis or treatment plan!! It is a violation of my rights to privacy and my rights to develop a plan with a care provider that fits best for my particular situation. This rule change could leave me and every other Washingtonian in the position of not being able to obtain legal prescriptions. I am frankly amazed that this is even being considered!
Aug 26 2010 12:48PM If a person has a valid, legal prescription, he or she should be able to walk into a pharmacy and obtain the medication he or she requires. Period.
Aug 26 2010 12:56PM It is imperative that all patients have access to all medications. Pharmacists should not be allowed to eliminate certain medications from patients on the basis of the pharmacist's personal belief system. The pharmacist is a professional in the field of dispensing medications, not making philosophical, religious, or medical decisions for the public at large. All pharmacists in the State of Washington should be legally required to dispense all medications that are legally dispensed in the State of Washington.
Aug 26 2010 12:57PM I believe the Board of Pharmacy should compel all Washington pharmacies to provide full access to all medications prescribed by medical professionals. Full access by patients is critical to complete medical care. Pharmacies and pharmacists should not be allowed to choose which medications they will and will not carry, based on their beliefs and/or prejudices.
Aug 26 2010 1:02PM My health decisions are between me and my doctor. My pharmaceutical needs are dictated by decisions between me and my doctor. I do not need input from a pharmacist based on his or her religious or political beliefs. If a pharmacist believes my physical health will be harmed by a prescription, then that opinion is valued to save me from a physical hurt. If a pharmacist simply believes a legal prescription is "wrong" based on religion or other personal political perceptions, that pharmacist should keep it to him or herself and shut up and serve the public properly by filling the prescription. I do not want a pharmacist deciding for me that I should not be taking anti-HIV drugs because he or she is against homosexuality. I do not want a pharmacist deciding for me that I should not take Tamoxifen (for instance) for breast cancer because the pharmacist thinks more "natural" remedies are available and the pharmacist prefers them. I do not want a pharmacist deciding I should not take birth control medicine because the pharmacist thinks there should be more babies. I do not want a pharmacist interfering with my decision on what "morning after" medicine to take based on the feelings of the pharmacist that I am a "bad" person and should not have had sex in the first place. I also don't want the pharmacist forcing me to choose a generic if I want a brand name, just because the pharmacist thinks the generic is "just as good" as the brand name and I could save money. Even this more "benign" belief could interfere with my medical care. None of the above is the pharmacist's job. The pharmacist knows what his/her job is, to fill legally prescribed prescriptions properly, and to watch for medical errors that would put my health in jeopardy. The job is not to second guess private conversations and discussions that I have with my doctor which are legal and confidential and not to be overturned by someone who does not have all those facts at his or her disposal.
Aug 26 2010 1:02PM I feel a fellow commenter said it best. "I believe the Board of Pharmacy should compel all Washington pharmacies to provide full access to all medications prescribed by medical professionals. Access by patients is critical and should be mandated by the Board. Pharmacies and pharmacists should not be allowed to pick and choose which medications they will and will not carry, based on their beliefs and/or prejudices" I wholeheartedly concur.
Aug 26 2010 1:05PM I believe the Board of Pharmacy should compel all Washington pharmacies to provide full access to all medications prescribed by medical professionals. Access by patients is critical and should be mandated by the Board. Pharmacies and pharmacists should not be allowed to pick and choose which medications they will and will not carry, based on their beliefs and/or prejudices.
Aug 26 2010 1:34PM I concur with the following comment: “I believe the Board of Pharmacy should compel all Washington pharmacies to provide full access to all medications prescribed by medical professionals. Access by patients is critical and should be mandated by the Board. Pharmacies and pharmacists should not be allowed to pick and choose which medications they will and will not carry, based on their beliefs and/or prejudices.”
Aug 26 2010 1:38PM The Board of Pharmacy should compel all pharmacies and pharmacists to provide any prescriptions. If their personal beliefs make this impossible for them, they should choose another profession.
Aug 26 2010 1:39PM As a woman and human being, I am incredibly insulted and disappointed with the recent settlement between the Board of Pharmacy and the plaintiffs in the recent lawsuit involving health care refusals. I believe that pharmacies and pharmacists in the State of Washington — and anywhere in the United States — should NOT be allowed to deny any citizen fair and timely access to legal drugs regardless of that drug's purpose. I also believe that pharmacies and pharmacists should NOT BE LICENSED TO PRACTICE OR DISPENSE ANY LEGAL DRUG if they discriminate against any specific medical condition, class, gender, race, ethnicity or sexual orientation. These settlement obviously allows pharmacies and pharmacists to practice discrimination and, in this case, the discrimination is deliberately targeted towards women and their right to pursue difficult, personal reproductive decisions based on their particular circumstances. What's next in your world of intolerance? Will you deny legal drugs to lung cancer patients because they shouldn't have smoked even if they contracted the disease from secondhand smoke? Or provide insulin to a diabetic because they don't know how to manage their diet? If this door is left open, there may be other potential "judgments" that pharmacists decide to use to justify their prejudices. Why should any patient have to scurry around between pharmacies to beg for medications they are entitled to receive? If a pharmacist or the pharmacy they work for does not want to provide the professional service they trained for, they should change careers. We need people in this profession who recognize and respect the individual rights of others and provide the access to health care every individual is legally entitled to. Individuals and business in this country cannot discriminate. Why does the Board of Pharmacy believe they deserve to be singled out to do so? This is simply not acceptable.
Aug 26 2010 1:53PM I truly believe each woman and her doctor must be able to make reproductive health choices. Plan B and all contraceptives must be available. lets' not go bacwards 50 years. Every child and every pregnancy must be planned and desired. Thank you, Diane martin rudnick
Aug 26 2010 2:07PM I can't believe that the board is even considering this issue. A patient has private, confidential discussions with his or her physician before a medication is prescribed. It may be for an on label or off label use. The pharmacist's role is limited. It is to properly fill the prescription, making sure that there is not an error (ie an inadvertent overdosage), there are no drug interactions with other medications the patient is taking or drug allergy issues, and that the patient knows how to take the drug properly. Nothing else. If a person wants to be a pharmacist, he or she should know this up front. The pharmacy window is not the place for diatribe, shame, humiliation, or second guessing the decision made by the physician to prescribe the medication. I am fortunate that the pharmacists I deal with understand this professional role and fill it. Every person in Washington should have that same expectation and experience.
Aug 26 2010 2:39PM I believe that pharmacists should be required to provide patients with any medication that is prescribed by a medical professional. People seeking legally prescribed drugs do so because they need them. To allow pharmacists to pick and choose what they will and won't provide to patients puts the burden on the patient. Patients already have enough burdens trying to stay well without having to chase down their medications by finding a pharmacist that agrees with their doctor's prescription. The new ruling is ridiculous and needs to be updated to reflect the rights of patients to access to medications!
Aug 26 2010 2:56PM It is my firm belief that the Pharmacy Board should require all prescriptions written by duly licensed medical personnel be filled as written. When any group is permitted to make decisions based on their own personal beliefs it allows for the other person to be deminished by denial of their personal rights and freedoms. The only body that has the authority to keep this kind of inequity from occuring in this State is the decisions made by the Board of Pharmacy. Please do not pass rules that provide pharmacies and pharmacists to be allowed to pick and choose which medications they will and will not carry, based on their beliefs and/or prejudices.
Aug 26 2010 3:21PM When a medication is legal and a prescription is valid, the patient and doctor have a right to expect the pharmacist to do his or her part. The pharmacist's moral position has no place in the transaction; the right place to register unhappiness with the legality of a medication is the political process.
Aug 26 2010 3:23PM The Board of Pharmacy should require pharmacists to provide patients with any medications their doctors prescribe. It is not the pharmacist's role to decide which medications are acceptable and which are not. This is a huge patient access issue, and the Board must protect Washington citizens by preventing pharmacists from interfering in medical decisions on the basis of their own personal beliefs.
Aug 26 2010 3:40PM The Board of Pharmacy should compel all Washington pharmacies to provide full access to all medications prescribed by medical professionals. Access by patients is critical and should be mandated by the Board. Pharmacies and pharmacists should not be allowed to pick and choose which medications they will and will not carry, based on their beliefs and/or prejudices.
Aug 26 2010 3:48PM I strongly urge the Pharmacy Board to continue to protect ALL patients' access to ALL lawfully prescribed medications without delay or discrimination.
Aug 26 2010 5:24PM Allowing pharmacists to interpose their personal prejudices and religious opinions between the decisions of women and their doctors outrages my soul! A competent and scientifically based board would not allow such a monstrosity.
Aug 26 2010 6:36PM A patient has the right to a confidential and valid doctor / patient relationship. A third party, in this case the pharmacist, should have no authority to breach this most fundamental trust by declining to fill a prescription that has been written in confidence. It takes medical skill, time, and great commitment to earn the trust of a patient. It should not be violated by anyone, especially a third party not privy to the intimate details of an individual patients circumstance. Authorizing pharmacists to not fill lawfully prescribed medications is fundamentally disruptive to the often fragile medical partnership between MD and patient. Allowing this to occur is unethical, discriminatory, prejudicial, and dangerous.
Aug 26 2010 9:05PM It is critical that all people be able to get the medication they need at the time they need it. It is essential that the Board of Pharmacy compel all Washington pharmacies to provide full access to all medications prescribed by medical professionals. Pharmacies and pharmacists should not be allowed to pick and choose which medications they will and will not carry, based on their beliefs and/or prejudices.
Aug 26 2010 9:41PM A pharmacist's job is not to substitute her own judgment for that of a medical professional; it is to accurately and safely fill prescriptions as ordered by the patient's healthcare provider. To do otherwise is to potentially put the patient's health in jeopardy. The Board of Pharmacy's job is to protect the public's health and safety, by regulating the competency and quality of pharmaceutical care. It cannot do this if it relinquishes to each individual pharmacist the authority to determine what part of that job she will or will not perform.
Aug 26 2010 10:40PM I am writing to convey my profound disappointment in the decision to re-open the Washington State Board of Pharmacy (BOP) rule regarding weaken access to emergency contraception and other medically approved prescriptions. This eleventh-hour action will postpone the already much-delayed implementation of the rule protecting patients' rights adopted by the BOP in 2007. The new rulemaking will place patients in Washington State at the mercy of pharmacists' personal beliefs and predilections--information that patients have no reason to know (and should not need to know) in advance of filling a prescription. It is vital that the BOP keep the rational rule it already adopted and protect health care and civil rights for women in our state.
Aug 27 2010 4:36AM The patient-doctor relationship is critical. It is not the pharmacist's place to intervene in a legitimate, FDA-approved prescription decision. For the sake of women who may not get emergency contraception if this rule goes through ... for avoiding the abortions some of them will end up having ... for the well-being of their future children who shouldn't have to be born until they are ready to parent well with someone who will parent alongside them ... for the sake of the transgender teen who may be saved from suicide by access to prescription hormones ... for the sake of the mentally ill individual who shouldn't have to worry how to travel to some more distant pharmacy to get life-saving medications just because a pharmacist may not believe in psychiatry ... for the sake of Washingtonians who might someday be or someday love that woman, that child, that teen or that mentally ill friend ... please don't change the rules. If a pharmacist doesn't believe in certain medications, let them choose work in a setting where other pharmacists work, so they can hand a person off to a colleague. Don't make patients suffer for the pharmacist's beliefs!
Aug 27 2010 5:53AM I am deeply disturbed by the Pharmacy Board being willing to allow pharmacists to pick and choose which medications they will carry and distribute. Besides how one's moral and religious views may then get in the way of what the pharmicist carries, this also may allow them to get in bed with particular drug companies. US citizens should have access to medical care in this country including whatever medications they need. They should not have to leave one pharmacy and go to another. In rural areas the next pharmacy may be miles away.
Aug 27 2010 8:13AM I strongly urge the Board of Pharmacy to compel all Washington pharmacies to provide full access to all medications prescribed by medical professionals. Access by patients is critical and should be mandated by the Board. Pharmacies and pharmacists should not be allowed to pick and choose which medications they will and will not carry or dispense, based on their religious beliefs.
Aug 27 2010 9:48AM I am shocked that the pharmacy board has decided to re-open this rule when the board and concerned WA residents all weighed in 4 years ago. The rule created in 2006 was well crafted and protects patient access to medications while also honoring pharmacists. It is imperative that we protect patient access to medication and ensure that patients are not judged or turned away because of personal, non-medical bias on the part of the pharmacist. The board of pharmacy is charged to ensure just that. Please do not change the rule that was settled with due process 4 years ago.
Aug 27 2010 9:57AM The Board of Pharmacy should ensure that all Washington residents have easy access to the medications prescribed by their doctors. Pharmacies and their staff should not be allowed to decide which lawfully prescribed medications to dispense based on their personal biases.
Aug 27 2010 10:07AM I am writing to urge you to maintain the current rule regarding patients' right to full and immediate access to all prescriptions, including those a particular pharmacist may find troubling. The current rule allows for personal conscience without impairing the public's right to needed medications as prescribed by their physicians. It is outrageous that a few idealogue pharmacists should have the power to interfere with the medical needs of the men and women of Washington state -- and that the Board is caving in to those idealogues. Nothing has changed since the current rule was enacted. Stand strong! Keep the current rule. Thank you.
Aug 27 2010 2:20PM Please continue to protect patients’ access to lawfully prescribed medication.
Aug 27 2010 3:08PM Decisions regarding prescription and non prescription medications should remain between a patient and a doctor. Pharmacists must be compelled to provide access to all lawful medications without picking and choosing which medicines please them. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion or feelings about an issue, but no one should be allowed to impact the health care needs of another with their opinions. Thank you.
Aug 29 2010 11:41AM I want the Pharmacy Board to continue to protect patients’ access to lawfully prescribed medication. To me, it is unethical for an employee to impose his/her personal beliefs on a customer to prevent a rightful, legal business transaction in the workplace. The Pharmacy Board's responsibility is service to the public, not to religious advocates.
Aug 29 2010 6:39PM Please let me have access to the medications my doctor wishes and not take away or make it more difficult for me to get what I may need.
Aug 30 2010 12:51PM How can I ever trust the pharmacy board to evaluate pharmacists if they do not require them to issue drugs as prescribed by physicians.A pharmacist has no right to decide whether I should have medication or not based on their prejudices.
Aug 30 2010 12:59PM I fail to understand why there is a problem. If a pharmacist wishes not to violate his/her conscience by distributing a drug that he/she sees as an aid to abortion, but is willing to refer the patient to another pharmacy, why is there a problem? It seems to me that we have gone well beyond the limits of reasonable expectation when we refuse to allow someone to follow the dictates of his/her conscience. Where in our Constitution (state or federal) is the legislature (state of federal) given the right to tell a citizen how he or she must think? Is the government (state or federal) now usurping an individual's right to form a moral judgment? The government has already insinuated itself into much of our lives; does it now wish to take over our minds and souls as well? I do not believe the government has the right (and certainly not the wisdom) to dictate to me what the contents of my conscience should be. Let us go back to the basics. Our nation was established on Judeo-Christian tenets. It is time we re-apply these beliefs to our lives.
Aug 30 2010 1:14PM I find it unconscionable that we would force pharmacists (or any one else) to violate their conscience and require them to provide services they consider immoral. Physicians are not (yet)required to perform abortions. Washington's Death with Dignity act allows physicians to decline to administer drugs that kill patients who which to commit suicide. At the Nuremburg trials (World War II trials for crimes against humanity), the excuse "I'm just following orders" was not allowed. Health care personnel who "followed orders" and contributed to the Holocaust were condemned. All you will do by forcing pharmacists to act against their conscience will be to reduce the number of pharmacists practicing in this state. Many commentors have talked about pharmacists forcing their morality on others. You are doing the same thing by forcing your morality on people who disagree with you.
Aug 30 2010 2:15PM I am very much in favor of a rule that would allow a pharmacist to "opt out" of performing a service that violates their conscience. This nation has a long and distinguished history of refusing to compel its citizens to engage in conduct that would violate their conscience. We have even allowed conscientious objection to military service, an activity that is of utmost importance to our national security. Just as the existence of a few conscientious objectors did not cripple the military, so the existence of a few pharmacists who don't dispense Plan B will not cripple patients' ability to get their prescriptions filled. It won't even give that ability a slight limp; it is not difficult to find a pharmacist nearby who will fill a Plan B prescription. Courts have always tried to step back in cases like this and use a balancing approach. What are the competing considerations to be balanced here? On the one hand, my right as a patient to get a Plan B prescription filled at the exact pharmacy I choose, without having to make a couple of phone calls to make sure that Plan B is sold there (similar to what I might have to do in looking for any number of other products, by the way). On the other hand, my right as a pharmacist to practice my profession without participating in what I -- and millions of others -- believe is the taking of a human life. When those two rights are weighed against each other, the scale must obviously tip in favor of the latter. I urge the Board to take such a reasoned and balanced approach.
Aug 30 2010 2:53PM Freedom of conscience is a foundation of our nation, part of freedom of religion. It has been practiced for years in medicine, the military and indeed anywhere that deals with life and death issues. We live in a culture incrementally decreasing its value of life. If a drug is legal that does not equate to its being moral. While the patient and physician ultimately bear responsibility for their choice in drug use, the pharmacist should not have to be a partner in a venture that he finds morally objectionable.
Aug 30 2010 4:41PM A pharmacist should be allowed, just like a doctor, to choose whether or not to provide medical services. There are plenty of doctors who choose not to provide abortions and yet I do not see anyone forcing them to. I do not see private school teachers being forced to teach immoral sexuality as part of their health curriculum. Nor do we see private businesses forced to sell items that they choose not to carry. Neither should a pharmacist, who is morally apposed to certain drugs, be forced to fill prescriptions. This IS still America. We still have rights to choose. I really don't see how this ever became an issue - every person should have the right to choose. If one pharmacist won't fill the order, another right down the street will. End of story.
Aug 30 2010 4:51PM As a citizen who appreciates freedom of speech and conscience laws, I strongly favor a rule that allows pharmacists to "opt out" of performing a service which violates their conscience. Forcing a pharmacist to dispense a drug to produce an effect that is morally reprehensible is contradicting our nation's practice of protecting the right of the individual to act according to conscience instead of acting according to tyranny. We have precedent of balancing individual rights as professionals with that of the consumer: Physicians have the right NOT to perform abortions; nor are they required to administer drugs to patients who wish to commit suicide. To not provide a means for pharmacists to act according to conscience is to treat them as unthinking vending machines and elevate the consumer's wish for convenience as the supreme value. Convenience in securing a product is not a right. Please honor the pharmacists' humanity by ensuring they have a means of working in good conscience.
Aug 30 2010 5:56PM Please keep the existing rule. Referrals is not the answer and it is completely FALSE to say that it will help Washingtonians gain more access. Referring clients to another pharmacy will limit low-income communities from accessing health care. By refusing to fill my prescriptions and refer me to a different pharmacy, you are assuming that there is another pharmacy in my city; you are assuming that I have a car; you are assuming that my insurance will cover a different pharmacy; you are assuming that I work a job that is flexible and will allow me to drive around all day until I find a pharmacist that will fill what is prescribed to me; you are assuming that my time-off is exactly when the other pharmacy will be open; and you are assuming that I speak your language and will completely understand having to go somewhere else. If you change the current rule, you assume too much. Please consider the barriers low-income communities have to health care as it is before you create another barrier by changing this rule.
Aug 30 2010 8:12PM I feel very strongly that it is crucial in a free nation for a private business to retain the right to choose what it will sell or provide. In a situation like this, to force a pharmacist to sell a pill whose sole intention is to remove a life, if one has begun, is unconscionable! I find the arguments against this ridiculous! These people keep talking about their right to get a pill "lawfully prescribed" as if it were a health issue, which it is not, and as if some how their not being able to buy it anywhere they chose will stop them from receiving it! If a pharmacist chooses not to sell it they have the right to go somewhere else to get it! But they keep talking about "their rights" as if their rights are the only ones that matter. No one is stopping them from access to there abortion pill. But what about the right of the Pharmacist, who is running his own private business, to not sell something he has a moral objection to? There are pharmacist's who will close their doors before they will be forced to sell a pill whose point is to take a life. It is wrong to force someone to do something they have a moral objection to. Ironically they argue that by not providing the pill those pharmacist's are forcing there morals upon them but in truth it's the opposite! They are trying to force those who feel it is wrong to yield to them! Please make provision for freedom of moral conciseness it is one of the things that makes our country great!
Aug 30 2010 9:23PM What I am most interested in is seeing that an individual's conscience rights are respected and officially sanctioned by law. The current attempt to force pharmacists to dispense medicines that cause cessation of pregnancy against their personal beliefs is reprehensible. Whenever, and over whatever reason a person has convictions, they should always be allowed, even encouraged. We must preserve our Republic and grant that this is a Government of the people, by the people and for the people. Please do all in your power to protect these rights. Thank you.
Aug 30 2010 10:47PM It is crucial to protect conscience rights of our citizens. No one should be forced to provide a drug that they believe causes an abortion; especially when they are willing to refer the patient to someone who does not have a conscience issue regarding the Plan B drug. We are losing so many personal rights, and to lose rights of conscience is unacceptable. I'm very concerned about the Federal health plan, which places many medical personnel in jeopardy. Just as in this case, without the new ruling, people will lose their jobs or businesses if they follow their conscience. Thanks for your consideration and for the move to allow pharmacists to operate legally with recognition of their rights of conscience.
Aug 31 2010 11:38AM I think the WAC Pharmacy Licensing Board need to continue to protect patient's access to lawfully prscribed medication by medical professionals. Easily available access by patients is critical and should be mandated by this Board!
Aug 31 2010 12:32PM Pharmacy/Pharmacists should not have to dispense drugs that go against their conscience.
Aug 31 2010 12:37PM Pharmacists should not have to choose between their job or their faith. This controversy is about about forcing pharmacists to participate in the killing of innocent human life. Abortion, and Plan B does result in an abortion, is repugnant to most people. Four members of my family are nurses and my father is a prominant retired doctor. I have a nephew who is entering medical school to be a doctor. All of them believe deeply that abortion is immoral. Polls are finding that people are identifying more toward "pro-life" than "pro-choice". Women who are determined to buy "plan B" can still get it, even if some pharmacists won't give it to them. NARAL, however, has stated they want to force doctors and nurses to participate in abortions, regardless of their sacred beliefs. Already a nurse has filed a lawsuit for being forced to choose between doing an abortion and her keeping her job at a hospital. Is this the kind of job enviornment we want our medical professionals to face? If this isn't a hostile job environment, than what is? NARAL is saying that people of faith or deep pro-life convictions should be excluded from all medical jobs unless they are willing to violate those convictions. Where is true diversity? Where is true tolerance? I urge you to support this alternative measure because it is the right thing to do. I don't want my nephew to ever have to choose between his beliefs and serving people as a doctor. The two should go hand in hand. Thank you for considering this ammendment.
Aug 31 2010 4:13PM We are wasting our time on a non-public health and safety issue. This is a political issue, nothing more. If this were a health and safety issue in Washington there would be many cases that the Board of Pharmacy would have investigated here in the State of Washington and many examples of patients not able to gain access to medications based upon the pharmacist refusal to fill in matters of conscience. There is no such body of evidence. There is no significant lack of access to care. Initiative 1000 (Death with Dignity) supporters claimed no physician or pharmacist would be compelled to participate. Moral objections would be respected. Governor Gregoire did not disagree with this. It is contradictory to state in one law that pharmacists cannot be compelled based upon moral grounds and then have a rule that does compel them to participate. I have never denied a patient Emergency Contraception. Before Plan B came to market I instructed physician on how to treat with emergency contraception with the pharmaceuticals that were available at that time. There are many situations where it is altogether appropriate to refer or to not fill. Some are therapeutic, some are based in financial necessity, some are based strictly in the patients best personal health. I am faced with such situations on a regular basis. I can't think of a situation where I had to refuse to fill based upon a moral objection ... but then no one has presented me with a prescription for an intentional lethal dose of medication. In the final analysis there can be no rational claim that access in Washington State is inadequate. If access is adequate then no public health and safety issue exists. The board has no charge to make political statements. Requests for board action on this issue are anectdotal at best and are based exclusively on political rhetoric. The Board is not and should not be a political body, regardless of who the politician was that confirmed board members positions on the board. Despite the fact that I have never been compelled to refuse treatment due to an issue of conscience, none-the-less I respect any individuals right to do so. Particularly when there is no adverse impact to the patient, aside from minor inconvenience. All of us are inconvenieced to some degree by others every day. Inconvenience even if it is demonstrable (and in Washington State there is virtually no evidence) doesn't merit a law. Moral conscience should be celebrated in our society not despised.
Aug 31 2010 4:58PM I agree that the issue needs to be revisited. It is fair and reasonable that pharmacists in Washington State have the right to opt-out of dispensing drugs, the use of which they see as morally wrong. It is not fair or reasonable to force a pharmacist to do violence to his conscience for convenience sake. A referral to a different pharmacy is a workable compromise.
Aug 31 2010 8:07PM There is wide spread disagreement and contention about when a human life begins. Given such enduring differences, the Health Department is acting responsibly by implementing rules which protect to some degree pharmacists who hold that a person’s life begins at conception.
Aug 31 2010 9:24PM The distribution of this medication, unlike others, is a matter of conscience. A pharmacist has an independent business and should have the right to follow his own conscience in his own business.
Aug 31 2010 9:51PM It is said that here in the United States of America we have freedom of religion. Do we really want to be a state that compels it's citizens to go against their conscience in the name of convenience? I think not. If I have to go to a pharmacist across town in order to save our liberties, so be it.
Aug 31 2010 10:10PM Businesses, including pharmacies should have the right to choose what products they carry. Sometimes my pharmacy is out of a particular drug so they refer me somewhere else to get it. Why should a so-called "right" of a person to get Plan B infringe on the rights of a pharmacist who objects to carry it? Pharmacists and doctors get in the field to improve life and restore health. If they believe Plan B ends life, then why we would force them to dispense it??
Sep 1 2010 8:45AM In a free and democratic society, it is critical that individual conscience rights be protected. As the proposed amendment states, its purpose is to provide "additional or alternative" procedures. No one is talking about denying women prescriptions. Referral procedures are standard practice in the industry. Reading the comments opposed to the amendment make it clear that the abortion industry will not be satisfied until unwilling pharmacists are required to be participants in the killing of preborn children. It really had nothing to do with the health of women, it is all about keeping blood money flowing into their coffers.
Sep 1 2010 9:18AM Unfortunately, there is so much misinformation found in many comments about a pharmacist's job. We are not purely a distributor of drugs. We must promote, educate and treat the patients coming into our stores. We must be ready to advise patients when they need further help from physicians. The morning after pill is most often NOT prescribed from a physician, but from the media. The morning after pill is not promoting the health of the baby growing inside the mother. This pill is withdrawing the "home" of their baby by making the uterus unfit for implantation of the embryo. So it is not the best (in fact it is killing) the baby growing inside the mother. Also, the side effects of the morning after pill with the terrible nausea and headaches are sometimes not the best for the woman either. As a pharmacist, I am appalled that we have been denied our constitutional rights of freedom of religion and speech. We provide a vital resource in our health care system. We have extended education on the medications the public is using. We are not merely puppets handing out dangerous substances. We deserve the respect and freedom every American is given.
Sep 1 2010 10:07AM Before a Pharmacist becomes a Pharmacist, he or she is an individual, who was brought up in a family, and instilled with values that define right and wrong. The state issues the Pharmacists License that gives the Pharmacists the right to provide medicine to individuals, through the Doctor's perscription. If a Pharmacist does not want to sell poison to the public, he or she should notify the Doctor, letting the doctor know of the Pharmacist's principled decision. The Doctor can then provide the individual with a list of other Pharmacists who are willing to sell the poison to the individual. The state does not have the right to tell an individual, what legal products they can sell. If I was to open a grocery store, I would not have alcohol, tobacco products, pornography and numerous other things for sell. My income would come from selling, milk, eggs, potatoes, and other vegetables. Because I am a vegetarian, I would not sell meat and fish products. This is my decision, and whether or not my business is a success, or a failure, depends upon the people who frequent my store. The same with each and every Pharmacist. It is the individual's decision of what he or she sells, not the state demanding the Pharmacist sell poison to a promiscuous population.
Sep 1 2010 10:12AM There has been a long tradition in pharmacy to utilize a referral process in order to effectively connect a patient with the medications that he or she needs. When a patient comes to a pharmacy to have a prescription filled, if the pharmacy either does not have the medication or for any reason is not able to fill the prescription, the pharmacist refers the patient to another pharmacy so that the patient can receive the medication in a timely manner. Although this type of activity does not require regulation, if some of those concerned feel it is necessary, this is the ideal type of standardization that should occur. The previous rulemaking that required a pharmacy to fill all prescriptions violated the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and Article 1, Section 11 of the Washington State Constitution that guarantees free exercise of religion. I feel that pharmacies should not be required to violate their conscience and dispense the "morning after" pill. This is entirely unacceptable for a citizen of Washington. The Board of Pharmacy should amend the rules to allow additional or alternative procedures that will ensure patients have access to medications when they need them.
Sep 1 2010 10:44AM No pharmacist should be mandated to give any prescription that violates his or her conscience. This is just another power grab by those who have no respect for life or for religious convictions. The "morning after pill" is readily available to anyone who wants it and a referral can be made. I am 86 years old, and in that time I have seen our freedoms diminished time and again. and would not like to see another one go!. Lorraine
Sep 1 2010 11:28AM When a prescription is made by a doctor, I believe that a professional pharmacist has an obligation to fill it. Why should a pharmacist have a right to choose what prescriptions they will fill? This could eventually affect many more prescriptions than just birth control--where do you draw the line? Should pharmacists evaluate every prescription on the basis of social or religious beliefs, rather than scientific ones? If they have religious objections to what pharmacists do, they should not be a pharmacist. To allow them to say no to a legally licensed doctor's prescription means that they could endanger a person's life and health, and in my mind are no longer a "professional".
Sep 1 2010 2:26PM If it were demonstrable that allowing pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions that violate their consciences would do actual harm, it would make sense to require them to fill all prescriptions. But the premise is laughably false. There is no evidence that the inability to obtain a particular medication from a particular source in Washington State would present any problem whatsoever. In the most extreme cases, it might be a minor inconvenience. This trivial consideration does not justify trampling upon the conscience rights of pharmacists. In fact, there are many reasons why a particular pharmacist might not choose to carry a particular medication, even apart from conscience. It may be too expensive and have too short a shelf life to be practical to stock. It could be a matter of storage space, or a requirement for special environmental conditions, or consideration of the risk of robbery and injury. To require pharmacists to stock every and all medication they might be requested to provide is ridiculous, even from a legal and business standpoint. The motivation behind the suggestion that such a requirement be placed on pharmacists is purely to establish in law a false right to obtain the 'morning-after pill' - a proven abortifacient which is abhorrent to many. Our Constitution protects the freedom to live in accordance with our values, and prohibits laws which interfere with this freedom. Washington State should not attempt to run afoul of these Constitutional guarantees.
Sep 1 2010 2:57PM Why is it necessary to force someone to work against their personal belief? They have spent their money and used their time to pursue a career they have interest in. That is their personal right. Are we forgetting that there are plenty of pharmacists out there that will happily take your money and give you your desired medication! Its simple - if a patient wants this medication then they are free to ASK THEIR DOCTOR what pharmacists will fill it and go to them. Doctors are use to giving out referrals for various things, they do it all day long. Better yet take the time, make the effort to go find them and put together the list and give it to your doctor! Since when are pharmacists beholding to doctors or subservient to them. They send/referr business to the pharmacist not dictate their business. If a person is not conveniently located to a pharmacacy who supports their choices, THEN FIND ONE who supports your beliefs and give them your business - I am sure they would appreciate it! Your pharmacist has to decide whether they want to make the money on the medication or stand on their personal belief and risk having a dissatisfied customer. YOU are free to make different choices or plan ahead. Take-on the personal responsibility and stop forcing your personal beliefs on a business or pharmacist when YOU HAVE ALTERNATIVES! People are acting as if the pharmacist makes the decision whether or not you CAN have the medication... no they don't you and your doctor do. Sometimes we have to be inconvenienced to get what we want, only you can decide if it is worth it. If you want the medication it is available to you... stop whining about it, go find it, buy it and move on.
Sep 1 2010 5:11PM I support the rights of conscious for Pharmacy owners.
Sep 2 2010 7:10AM As a country we are all about defending the individuals rights are we not? This also would mean that we defend a person's conscience rights. I believe that a pharmacist who objects to dispensing Plan B because they believe they would be participating in an act that is morally wrong should not be forced to do so.
Sep 2 2010 9:06AM Please consider new pharmacy rules which would allow pharmacists to adhere to their religious views. Our US Constituion guarantees us freedom of religion in the First Amendment, and our State Constitution states, "SECTION 11 RELIGIOUS FREEDOM. Absolute freedom of conscience in all matters of religious sentiment, belief and worship, shall be guaranteed to every individual, and no one shall be molested or disturbed in person or property on account of religion; but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness or justify practices inconsistent with the peace and safety of the state." Please adhere to the constitutions and allow pharmacists who do not want to dispense drugs which cause abortion to refer clients to other pharmacies for this drug. By referring clients to other pharmacies, conscientiously objecting pharmacists can preserve the "peace and safety of the state" and clients will still receive service. Stores and businesses should have the freedom to stock products (and medicines) it wishes. Stores normally don't carry EVERY product and frequently refer shoppers to other stores. Pharmacists should be allowed the same freedom....this is the USA. Thank you for considering these comments.
Sep 2 2010 11:52AM Pharmacists have consciences.
Sep 2 2010 2:13PM I wholeheartely concur with the proposed rule that will allow pharmacists and pharmacys to exercise their conscienious objection to despensing certain "morning after" pills and that they be allowed to refer the customer to another pharmacy who can fill their prescription. Joe d Camp
Sep 2 2010 4:17PM As a student and a person grew up in a low income family with no access to transportation and little access to financial resources, I believe a proposed rule that refers women to other pharmacies, based solely on the pharmacists religious belief, is just not acceptable. I am not alone when I see that referral to other pharmacies will harm many patients. I worry most about those who lack transportation, are in isolated areas rural or urban, and especially persons with disabilities. I further worry about the trauma that will be forced on someone who has suffered from sexual assault or other trauma--a pharmacist is not there to judge, but rather to provide a service, and a timely service at that. Many people in our state work jobs that do not have flexible hours, making it difficult to travel from pharmacy to pharmacy before a prescription is filled. For women whose insurance is not transferable, the combined cost of travel and higher prescription prices, may prevent access to needed medication. For individuals with disabilities or HIV a delay in necessary medication can have serious consequences. The best outcome for a patient is to have his or her medication needs met on site and in timely manner--and without judgment. You say you want to improve access for the citizens of Washington, if this is so, then I urge you to keep the rules as they currently stand. Any and all proposed changes will adversely affect many people who reside in our state.
Sep 2 2010 9:28PM Dear WA State Department of Health, I am a pharmacist in Illinois now but I have maintained my license in Washington state. I am watching the decision of the board carefully as it will impact whether or not I will be able to one day practice in Washington state again. As a person who holds the strong conviction that life begins at conception, it is important to me that I not be required to fill anything that could potentially end a new life, young as it may be. If presented with a request for Plan B, I would refer someone to another pharmacy that fills Plan B if that were an option. To require me or any other pharmacist to fill something that violates his or her firmly held religious beliefs is a violation of the rights guaranteed by the constitution. I request that the board change their current policy and allow pharmacists the right to refuse and refer. Sincerely, Renata Pate RPh
Sep 2 2010 9:52PM An American citizen’s freedom of conscience is basic to all other freedoms. If the government compels a pharmacist, or any other health care professional, to ignore their sincerely held beliefs in order to carry out a de-facto execution (an abortion) that professional will have no other choice than to break the law or defile their conscience. The government’s demands could also force that person to change jobs/professions and stop doing what they are trained to do. The “cost” is too great and unnecessary. Any woman can find support for an abortion in another location. I don’t believe the pharmacist should even be required or expected to refer the woman to another pharmacist. Please support a conscience clause to be added to any abortion related laws or policies. Thank you for your consideration,
Sep 3 2010 10:49AM Persons who object to being forced into compliance with methods which are in direct opposition to their moral and ethical beliefs should be provided with a means by which they can be absolved of the situation (i.e. referring to another provider for acquisition of prescription abortion aids). We have been "forced", as Americans, to make concessions for the influx of various ethinic and people groups who do not govern their affairs by our traditional and constitutionally sanctioned mores. This includes the celebration and demonstration of Christian values, upon which this great Nation were founded. I, for one, strenuously object to the watering down and eradication of the moral fiber of the United States of America in favor of factions and ehtics which are aimed at destroying life, liberty and decency in my homeland.
Sep 3 2010 11:28AM My wife and I support conscience rights
Sep 3 2010 12:03PM
Sep 3 2010 12:09PM While it is the duty and responsibility of pharmacists to ensure that the medications they dispense to their customers are safe, accurate and promote the health of the patient, their moral concerns should not enter the equation. The pharmacist is intermediary between doctor and patient, and if that pharmacist chooses to rupture that relationship because of his or her moral or religious concerns, that is doing a disservice to the patient and imposing his or her views upon that patient. It is much more objectionable that the pharmacist inject him or herself into that doctor-patient relationship when the patient's safety is not at issue than the actual treatment the pharmacist is attempting to subvert.
Sep 3 2010 12:17PM I support pharmacists' conscience rights to refer to Plan B as an abortion drug.
Sep 3 2010 12:22PM Pharmacists should not be required to drop their consciences when they walk into the workplace. They work in the healing profession and are morally obligated to be honest about the drugs they sell. The right of conscience is sacrosanct for all American citizens.
Sep 3 2010 12:36PM Licensing by the state or federal government in no way forces a moral decision for a career. No other career, that I can think of, is forced to made a decision for their profession, that also goes against their moral values.
Sep 3 2010 12:50PM I concur with the proposed rule upholding pharmacists' conscience rights. If a patient request infringes on a doctor or pharmacist's right of conscience, then that doctor or pharmacist should of course be able to refer the patient elsewhere. It's a matter of basic decency. You cannot force someone to do something that is morally reprehensible to them, simply for your convenience. Please pass the proposed conscience rights rule; by all means we want our doctors and pharmacists protected.
Sep 3 2010 12:58PM A pharmacist should have every right to decide whether it is right for him or her to dispense the abortion drug. I beleive that if I were a pharmacist, I would be contributing to the death of an unborn baby if I dispensed it!
Sep 3 2010 1:02PM Abortion is murder plain an simple. All laws should be in place to protect the right of the pharmacist. A woman should have no "right" to kill her unborn baby. That is legalized murder. Dispensing the abortion pill is contributing to that horrific act. Roe vs. Wade needs to be overturned. Abortion is wrong. Unborn babies have every right to LIFE.
Sep 3 2010 2:02PM I sincerely applaud this proposed rule which will uphold the conscience rights of pharmacists. It is in line with the fundamental freedom of the individual which our Constitution provides.
Sep 3 2010 2:53PM Those opposed to individual liberty want to be able to compel others to provide abortions even if they have moral or ethical objections. What happened to Freedom of Religion? Should those on the Left be allowed to dictate how one practices their religion and honors their moral conscience? I don't think so!
Sep 3 2010 4:20PM Pharmacists need the opportunity to live and work within their conscience. Thank you.
Sep 3 2010 7:30PM In your experience, I'm sure you have gone to a store that did not carry certain items due to their belief that those items were not helpful or good items to sell. You may even have dealt with people of Jewish faith who did not do business on Saturday, or Hindus who did not sell certain meats, or farmers who did not support GMOs. It should be no more unusual or troublesome for a pharmacist to choose which medications he will or will not carry.
Sep 3 2010 8:00PM I concur with the proposed rule.
Sep 3 2010 8:38PM Thank you for your decision to honor pharmacists' right to not stock or dispense the Plan B drug if they object to doing so based on conscience. This is the right decision. The government should never force anyone, including those in the life-giving pharmacy field, to assist in the killing of human life. Also I'd like to reiterate the truth of how this drug works. In some cases, the Plan B drug works to prevent a fertilized egg (which is a new human life) from implanting in the uterus (which triggers the woman's condition of pregnancy). Marketers and supporters of Plan B try to emphasize that the drug doesn't end a pregnancy, which is a cynical attempt to avoid admitting that the drug does end the life of the new person. The same pharmacists who oppose Plan B often stock and sell condoms and birth control pills and other means of preventing conception. They care about not being forced to end a human life, and should be allowed to honor their consciences.
Sep 4 2010 9:21AM I am encouraged by your willingness to consider the rights of conscience for those who serve us in the medical field. I strongly encourage you to adopt the rule allowing pharmacists to refer patients for pharmaceuticals that are legal but might contravene the moral stances of pharmacists and other medical practitioners. While legality confers the ability to obtain a substance, it should not allow some to force others to dispense it under duress. Please continue on the path toward incorporating this right of conscience in the policies of our great state.
Sep 4 2010 11:20AM
Sep 4 2010 8:25PM For pharmacists who believe that life begins at conception, it is abhorrent in the extreme to be forced to provide drugs such as Plan B to anyone. There would appear to be no danger to the welfare of society by allowing these pharmacists to remain true to their beliefs and refrain from providing such drugs. Those desiring the drugs can simply obtain them from some other pharmacy where the pharmacist has no qualms about providing them.
Sep 4 2010 8:31PM I just have questions. Could this law be used against the people of this Christian country? Giving people of a culture (religion) who want to overthrow this government? If a pharmasist is Moslem, his conscience is for killing all non-moslems. Our Country has always supported the freedom of conscience. How is it they don't have the right now?
Sep 4 2010 9:29PM I am a Vietnam Vet. During my tour of duty, we had many conscientious objectors processed out of the Army. I strongly disagreed with this, but I would have fought to the death to protect their right to conscientiously object to the war. Many of my buddies did die to protect their right. Now, 40 years later, you legislate this right away !?!? What are you thinking? In America we have the right, and freedom to exercise our conscience. Agree or disagree, does not eliminate that right. What freedom will be next on the legislative hit list? I hope it is one of yours.
Sep 5 2010 1:41PM It is just plain wrong to ask a pharmacist--or anyone--to go against his/her beliefs and participate in the killing (MURDER) of an unborn child--a child who is defenseless and obviously innocent of any wrongdoing. We believe God will call us to account for all our sins. Murder is a sin.
Sep 5 2010 6:29PM It starts with the pharmacists. Then it's the nurses and doctors. It starts with contraception, and continues through prevention of implantation, and on to abortion. Pretty soon, the field of health has cleansed itself of all 'regressive' elements. Then we can move on to the mentally deficient, the permanently infirm, the terminally ill, the autistic.
Sep 6 2010 12:31PM I concur with the intention to rewrite the current rule, which a court has prohibited from being put into effect. Some "medical procedures" are not really medical procedures, but death-dealing ones. A purpose of Plan B and now Ella is to prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg, if there is one, into the wall of the uterus, effectively killing it. There is no question that the fertilized egg is an individual human being, separate from the mother. People who want to kill this human being anyway have redefined "pregnancy" to refer to a condition where the egg is implanted; redefining a word, though, does not change the reality -- the fertilized egg is a human being. It's bad enough that we allow this killing at all; it's even worse when we require unwilling people to participate in it by threatening their livelihood. Under the current rule, some exceptionally decent people cannot be pharmacists. What an outrage. We kick our best people out of the profession! At least change the rule so that it contains an effective conscience clause.
Sep 6 2010 2:29PM I ask that pharmacys do not have to go against their conscience
Sep 6 2010 4:28PM I feel that the current pharmacist regulations do not provide adequate conscience rights protection for those pharmacists who feel that it is morally wrong for them to prescribe certain medications such as Plan B and Ella. It is unfortunate that these type of regulations may discourage some very conscientious people from even practicing pharmacy in our state.
Sep 6 2010 4:42PM There are two kinds of conscience; one is utilitarian the other is moral. When society subjugates a moral conscience for the sake of utility, a person's convenience, especially in matters so grave, it has undermined its very existence. A just society is founded on justice for individuals. When the consciences of pharmacists are violated to the extent of threatening their religious adherence and respect for the sanctity of life, then the rest of society can assume that their 'rights' are dispensable as well. Do not let the 'right' of a person to kill their own child through an abortifacient destroy a pharmacist's right not to participate in such an act. It is a violation of personal and religious rights.
Sep 6 2010 6:57PM I have always believed that a pharmacist should have a conscience clause. After all, one does not check his value system at the door when clocking into his job. A referral to a pharmacy that might dispense a drug he will not because of his set of values is and always has been the obvious solution. Why have we wasted so much time and created so much angst over a situation a second-grader could have solved??
Sep 6 2010 7:02PM It is not right to FORCE someone to do something against their conscience.
Sep 6 2010 7:19PM A just society is founded on justice for individuals. When the consciences of pharmacists are violated to the extent of threatening their religious adherence and respect for the sanctity of life, then the rest of society can assume that their 'rights' are dispensable as well. Do not let the 'right' of a person to kill their own child through an abortifacient destroy a pharmacist's right not to participate in such an act."
Sep 6 2010 7:30PM Please don't force pharmacists to participate in something they believe to be morally wrong. I think we would be sliding down a slippery slope as a society if we force this upon individulas. Thank you for hearing all voices.
Sep 6 2010 7:57PM As a long-time resident of Seattle (temporarily in Berkeley), I am pleased to see the Board re-opening the question of right of conscience for pharmacists. Pharmacists should have the right to choose to follow their conscience, especially in an area that is so fraught with controversy as the abortion issue. It is unconscionable that anyone would be forced to assist (through writing a lethal prescription) in the terminating of a human life, no matter at what stage, against her will. Pharmacists should have the same rights as everyone else. Thank you.
Sep 6 2010 9:03PM This issue really needs to be revisited. A heart-felt conviction to not sell, use or have any part of certain drugs should not bar a person from being a pharmacist or dispenser/cashier in our state. Thank you, Vicki Ravely
Sep 6 2010 9:05PM Please allow for the individual to have their conscience rights. Freedom of choice to live one's Faith in support of virtue and conscience. As an R.N. for 30 years, I have had to leave jobs due to ethical violations of the employer where nursing judgment no longer was a priority . Instead of integrity for the patient care and protecting their rights, the almighty dollar won. We are entering a very precarious time where health care reform must allow for conscience rights of those involved in that health "care" industry. Thank you
Sep 6 2010 9:09PM I feel that pharmacists should not have to provide abortifacients if it is against their conscience. There are plenty of other pharmacies that will do so. There is no "right" to abortion and forcing pharmacists to provide abortifacients is just another way for pro choice people, such as our govenor, to force others to support this unconscienable act.
Sep 6 2010 9:15PM This issue really needs to be revisited. A heart-felt conviction to not sell, use or have any part of certain drugs should not bar a person from being a pharmacist or dispenser/cashier in our state. Some businesses are closed early on Friday afternooons, some don't open on Saturday, some aren't open on Sundays. Some stores only sell vegan items, some have some meats but not others, all for faith based reasons. We tolerate the fact that some pharmacies post "no oxycontin" in the pharmacy (as is posted on front door of our local grocery/pharmacy). Obviously, persons with a prescription for that go to another pharmacy. Why not just post a sticker on the outside of the pharmacy, or perhaps we could just allow the doctor to give out the medication they prescribe (as they do samples) . That would keep it between a person and their doctor-period. Thank you,
Sep 6 2010 9:28PM How dare you demand a pharmacist dispense a substance that he believes will harm his patient!
Sep 6 2010 9:32PM How dare you demand a pharmacist dispense a substance that he believes will harm his patient!
Sep 6 2010 10:37PM
Sep 7 2010 8:32AM I concur with CR 101. No licensed professional should be forced by the State to perform acts offending the free practice of an established and recognized religion. The law as currently written is discriminatory against all practicing Catholic pharmacists, and unless the State allows freedom of conscience for pharmacists, a lawsuit will result, the State will lose it's defense, and the resultant (preventable) cost to State taxpayers will amount to millions of dollars to defend.
Sep 7 2010 9:17AM Please, Please, Please let Pharmacist have the right to follow their conscience. Pharmacists should not have to dispense Plan B or the Ella abortion drugs. Pro-life Pharmacists should not be forced out of their jobs. This is a freedom of religion/beliefs issue. Pharmacists should have the right to say they don't offer abortion drugs. If a pharmacy does not offer plan B and Ella the consumer can go to another pharmacy. There are a lot of pharmacies out there. All of them do not have to offer all services. This is America. Land of the free. Let pharmacists have the freedom of conscience. Why is the other side of this even being considered? Why can't we just expect that pharmacists can follow their conscience?
Sep 7 2010 10:47AM Pharmacist should be able to follow the original Hypocratic Oath: "...I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy. In purity and holiness I will guard my life and my art...." Pharmacist must have conscience protections. Not all doctors do abortions. Not all Pharmacists should have to dispense abortive medications.
Sep 7 2010 2:09PM This country has long held the right of individuals to dissent on an action if their consciences and moral convictions do not support it. The Pharmacy Board roughly overruled this right in their first stance and I strongly support making this change to allow individuals to refrain from dispensing Plan B or Ella according to their personal and religious convictions.
Sep 7 2010 2:09PM
Sep 7 2010 2:10PM I believe that Americans should be allowed their "right to conscience." I support an amendment that would allow for that basic freedom. Thank you very much, Loree Petree
Sep 7 2010 2:11PM I am in favor of allowing people to follow their conscience and not be required to fill prescriptions for abortions.
Sep 7 2010 2:13PM
Sep 7 2010 2:18PM I would like to see the Board consider amending the anti-conscence rules to allow pharmacists to refer clients on the basis of conscience. This is the right thing to do for all involved and appreciate the reconsideration of this matter.
Sep 7 2010 2:19PM To the Governor: It is a violation of a person's conscience to require a pharmacist to dispense a medication which is intended to lead to the death of a newly formed individual. I concur with the amendment that allows a pharmacist to refer a patient to another provider who does not have a conscientious objection to essentially killing an unborn child because they do not perceive the small embryo as a child. Pamela Faith Fahey, PhD Associate Biology Faculty Lake WA Technical College
Sep 7 2010 2:21PM
Sep 7 2010 2:23PM
Sep 7 2010 2:25PM Please protect the Right of Conscience!!!!!!!!
Sep 7 2010 2:26PM Please uphold the right for pharmacy owners to live by their conscience.
Sep 7 2010 2:26PM
Sep 7 2010 2:28PM
Sep 7 2010 2:29PM I clearly believe it is way beyond the reach of government to dictate to any business what they can or can't sell. Certainly the government should monitor foods or items that can be harmful to be sold to our citizens, but for the government to demand that we sell specific items is certainly the taking of another one of our freedoms. I am amazed that our governor has been so strongly against those who have a conscience objections to selling the morning after pill, AND has abused her authority to stiff arm this Olympia business. When is the government going to get back on the side of the people? When is our governor going to keep from allowing her personal biases to dictate her moral agenda?
Sep 7 2010 2:32PM i DO NOT BELIEVE PHARMACIES SHOULD BE FORCED TO DO THIS. CHARLA MURRAY
Sep 7 2010 2:33PM It is imperative to the survival of our state and our nation that Pharmacists be allowed to refer people to other Pharmacists to fill an order if they do not wish to sell a drug for any reason. The Pharmacist should be allowed to keep these reasons to themselves. Reasons could be business related, or even if they have a conscientious objection to a drug.
Sep 7 2010 2:34PM The Government, in any form (federal, state or any subdivision), should never be allowed to impinge or deny the right of conscious to any individual. The rights of individuals should never impinge on the rights of other individuals. While women may have the right to pursue abortion, they should not be allowed to pursue abortion at the emotional expense of those who oppose it. One does not give up their rights to be an individual citizen simply because they are medical professionals. The Government cannot force us to act against our own will as the Government should be accountable to the will of the people. A Government that can force action on individuals is a Government that does not have to answer to or submit to the will of individuals.
Sep 7 2010 2:38PM We want our medical professionals to serve with conscience.
Sep 7 2010 2:40PM Forcing anyone to do anything that goes against ones conscience is wrong. Our military recognizes that right by allowing conscientious objectors to fill non-combat roles. It would be equally wrong to force a Jew or an Arab to eat pork as it would go against their religion and their conscience.
Sep 7 2010 2:44PM I concur that there should be options for pharmacists to not violate their consciences. To require anyone to violate their conscience is wrong and smacks of Communism. Be courageous. Amend the anti conscience rules.
Sep 7 2010 2:47PM As a member of the faith community I concur with the Pharmacy Board's amendment to the anti-conscience rules. I went to school with persons pursuing a Pharmacy career and it's a grueling process. They worked hard to get to where they are. If by conscience they do not want to dispense products that contribute to abortion then they should not be made to do so.
Sep 7 2010 2:54PM I can't think of another business forced to deliver goods or services they don't believe in. I am a contractor and won't sell certain brands of decking, windows, roofing or siding. Neither will I paint or place cement even though I'm qualified and legally allowed to do so. Abortion and/or contraception are NOT the issue; it's the freedom of private business people. PLEASE leave us alone. Washington's laws, rules and government intrusion are already onerous. Allowing a business person to not sell a product does not hurt a consumer in any way; especially when that consumer is directed to a nearby source. Forcing a private business person to deliver a product they don't believe in violates their principles and only satisfies a special interest group. They may be your favorite, but please remember, we're not all required to think like you, yet!
Sep 7 2010 2:57PM Conscience Rights are important! Everyone should have the right to choose where they can get their prescriptions filled and it is wrong to force anyone to only go to Pharmacies that they are told to go in order to get their prescriptions filled. Rules to the contrary should be opposed and made null and void and should be replaced with rules that allow everyone to be able to go to any Pharmacy that they wish in order to get their prescriptions filled.
Sep 7 2010 2:58PM Pharmacists should not be forced by the government to take an action that is against their moral or religious views. Would love to understand why the government believes such legislation even needs to exist.
Sep 7 2010 2:59PM I believe pharmacists have the right to object according to their conscence to refuse to prescibe medication that would end a life in vetro. I believe the pharmacist has the right to suggest another provider in the area who does not object. Sincerely, Nancy Irion
Sep 7 2010 3:01PM I concur. The Board should be considering amending the anti-conscience regulations to allow providers to refer patients to nearby providers if they have a conscientious objection to dispensing a drug. Do not cave in to Gov. Gregoire's pressure. Do the right thing. Do not insist pharmacies provide abortion drugs when it is against their conscience. Gina Messenger
Sep 7 2010 3:02PM Wiser people then you have come up with the answer which is very simple as all answers are..... "nor shall the equal rights of conscience be infringed" House of Representatives, Amendments to the Constitution 15, 17 , 20 Aug. 1789Annals 1:729--31, 755, 766 [15 Aug.] EXCERPTS Article 1. Section 9. Between paragraphs two and three insert "no religion shall be established by law, nor shall the equal rights of conscience be infringed." Mr. Huntington He hoped, therefore, the amendment would be made in such a way as to secure the rights of conscience, and a free exercise of the rights of religion, but not to patronize those who professed no religion at all. Mr. Livermore Congress shall make no laws touching religion, or infringing the rights of conscience.Mr. Livermore"the equal rights of conscience, the freedom of speech or of the press, and the right of trial by jury in criminal cases, shall not be infringed by any State."This transposition being agreed to, and Mr. Tucker's motion being rejected, the clause was adopted. [20 Aug.]On motion of Mr. Ames, the fourth amendment was altered so as to read "Congress shall make no law establishing religion, or to prevent the free exercise thereof, or to infringe the rights of conscience." This being adopted. … http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/amendI_religions53.html
Sep 7 2010 3:02PM As a nation, we must not nullify the rights of one in favor of another. When the rights of pharmacists to exercise their consciences, adhering to their religious beliefs, by not participating in an act that would destroy a human life, society is restricting that pharmacist's rights to freedom of religion, and freedom of conscience. If pharmacists' rights are nullified, then the rest of society can assume that their 'rights' are dispensable as well.
Sep 7 2010 3:04PM In addition, pharmacists who conscientiously object to filling a given prescription should not be required to refer patients to other pharmacits that will fill the given prescription.
Sep 7 2010 3:05PM There should not be any negative consequences for having and acting upon a matter of conscience, such as refusing to dispense a drug that is believed to be dangerous, or violates a persons religious faith. Please make it so.
Sep 7 2010 3:07PM In America, we expect to have the finest of health care for a variety of medical issues and we fully expect there to be the support of the entire medical community, including the dispensers of medications. At no time in America's history have pharmacists been asked to, or required to dispense drugs that terminate the life of an unborn baby. To even consider that "health care" is a travesty of terms. While the medication to spontaneously abort a fetus is legal in this country, it is criminal to require any medical provider or pharmacist to dispense this life-taking drug. I strongly urge the medical boards of review in this process to restore the right of a pharmacist to conscientiously object and NOT require the dispensing of any drug that would harm the patient or the unborn baby.
Sep 7 2010 3:09PM A pharmacist should be allowed to refuse to dispense medicine if he has convictions against abortions, or other medical procedures.
Sep 7 2010 3:09PM No one should be expected to go against their conscience. We all have things we would never do - so why should some HAVE to do something because some others find it acceptable to do?
Sep 7 2010 3:13PM I think that it is way too easy to make a stupid decision to and play God. I had an abortion when I was 18 and not one person in the medical field tried to talk me out of it or tell me that I had options... I was extremely emotional and made a stupid decision that will follow me the rest of my life. I wish that someone would have said that there were other options and to referred me to a counselor. I hope that we are doing all we can to educate and be there for those struggling with this decision before we mandate that anyone thinking of getting an abortion or a pill would be blindly given one. Also, I hope that those in the medical field won't be forced to do things against their own values. I couldn't imagine being in their shoes... take away a mans values and you take apart that man.
Sep 7 2010 3:13PM
Sep 7 2010 3:20PM
Sep 7 2010 3:31PM It is unconstitutional to force somebody to sell something, and doubly so to force them to do it when they morally and religiously object. I believe that the anti-conscience regulations should be repealed, and at the very least there should be an amendment so that pharmacists can refer someone to the closest place selling what they need if the pharmacist does not want to sell it.
Sep 7 2010 3:33PM In matters of conscience, people have the right not to participate in those actions they deem against their moral principles. This has historically included pharmacists and should continue to do so. You should not have to give up this right to be a pharmacist, particularly in the area of human life.
Sep 7 2010 3:35PM It is my personal belief that a pharmacist should be able to obstain from dispensing the morning after pills. As long as he makes a referral. We have in this country allowed our young men to be conscience objectors to participating in the military because they did not want to take a life. I hold also the belief that life begins at conception. If I owned my own pharmacy, then I should have the freedom to practice and excercise that belief. America is a free country, at least I thought it was. I am in total support of a pharmacist having the freedom of conscience on this matter.
Sep 7 2010 3:36PM It has always been within the accepted ethics of the medical profession for a physician to decline to accept a person as a patient whether for conscience or other reasons. That same reasoning should be applied to pharmacists who function as a part of the greater medical team. To force persons to act against their conscience is a particularly good instance of tyranny.
Sep 7 2010 3:37PM I am so relieved that you are considering amending the rules to allow pharmacists and pharmacy owners to follow their consciences but to refer patients to nearby pharmacies. I trust people with high personal standards to dispense medicine for me and my family. Similarly, to force someone to do something that violates their moral code and personal values in order to continue in their profession just seems wrong on the most basic level. Thanks again for taking another look at this issue.
Sep 7 2010 3:39PM I concur with the decision to allow providers to refer patients to nearby providers if they have a conscientious objection to dispensing a drug. Thank you for your consideration.
Sep 7 2010 3:47PM
Sep 7 2010 3:50PM I support the right to conscience.
Sep 7 2010 3:51PM Our citizens have the right to exercise their moral conscience, even pharmacists. Every pharmacy does not have every medication & there is no law that says they must. Why should this situation be different, especially when it involves human life? There are alternatives provided for those seeking this type of drug while not forcing anyone to go against their conscience. Pharmacists deserve the right to follow their own conscience, just as the other citizens in our state.
Sep 7 2010 4:02PM If passed, it is my understanding that this law will require pharmacists to violate their God given principles. God has asked us to obey the laws of the land as long as it does not violate His principles. A pharmacist would have no choice but to disobey, and possibly loose his certification.
Sep 7 2010 4:12PM Please ALLOW pharmacy providers to refer patients to nearby providers if they have a conscientious objection to dispensing a drug.
Sep 7 2010 4:12PM Please ALLOW pharmacy providers to refer patients to nearby providers if they have a conscientious objection to dispensing a drug.
Sep 7 2010 4:15PM I support a pharmacist's right to conscientious objection to administer drugs such as Plan B - the morning after pill - that he/she feel would violate their conscience. This is no different than those who are able to defer military duty because of conscientious objection. There are many other pharmacists who are in private practice who do not share the same objections and those who wish to, can choose a different pharmacy. These are not limited choices -- there are many options, so why force those who object due to conscious' sake to participate?
Sep 7 2010 4:20PM It is ridiculous to say that a pharmacist must obtain and dispense a drug when it violates his conscience but that he has no obligation to obtain and dispense other drugs that he chooses not to dispense for business or even frivolous reasons.
Sep 7 2010 4:31PM The Board is considering amending the anti-conscience regulations to allow providers to refer patients to nearby providers if they have a conscientious objection to dispensing a drug, and I concur with this amendment.
Sep 7 2010 4:32PM Folks seem to be a little confused. The rule as it stands does not require a pharmacist to dispense medication. If a pharmacist refuses to give such a pill, they are required to have someone on staff along with them who is willing to do so. It is simple as that. That way the pharmacist does not have to dispense medications he or she doesn't want to dispense, and the client can get the service they need and deserve to ensure their health needs are provided for. Also, there are other regulations which require pharmacies to stock needed medications, this rule cannot change that practice--once a medication is requested, a pharmacy is required by law to have the medication in stock. This is not about judging or pointing fingers, this is about a practical solution. And, making someone drive from pharmacy to pharmacy in areas where people may be less tolerant is just unacceptable. This assumes that everyone has time to travel to more than one pharmacy, the means to do so by car or public transit. It also assumes everyone is able-bodied enough to travel. Necessary medications are already pricey, and adding cost of travel is unacceptable and will prevent access. Please keep the rule as it is. It protects the pharmacists needs, and the patients needs in a reasonable way. Any changes will put the pharmacists needs above their patients, which is unnecessary and plain wrong!
Sep 7 2010 4:34PM Please ALLOW pharmacy providers to refer patients to nearby providers if they have a conscientious objection to dispensing a drug. If my pharmacy does not have a particular prescription my doctor has prescribed for me in stock, of course I would just go to other pharmacy. This isn't about PREVENTING someone from getting a prescription - it is about the rights of pharmacists to not participate in something they morally object to.
Sep 7 2010 4:40PM I concur with the Pharmacy's Board amendment to the anti-conscience rule. No Pharmacist should be forced to go against their God given conscience to provide abortion drugs. Allow them to refer to other providers that do. Most businesses have signs stating they can refuse to extend service to anyone they choose. You should be encouraging small businesses to succeed not fail. Thank you, Barbara Benson
Sep 7 2010 4:41PM Dear Board of Pharmacy, In 2006, the Board of Pharmacy enacted an obviously unconstitutional rule intended to eliminate conscience rights of pharmacies and pharmacists opposed to dispensing Plan B. The rule was enacted despite the fact that proponents (Governor Gregoire, NARAL, Planned Parenthood, etc.) were unable to document a SINGLE CASE in which a patient/customer was unable to obtain Plan B because of a pharmacist's refusal to dispense the drug on moral grounds. The result of your rule-making was protracted litigation (at enormous taxpayer expense) with the State eventually "folding" its defense of the rule shortly before trial. I understand that the Board will soon be considering alternate rules which will require objecting pharmacists to facilitate referrals. Please be advised that Washington law specifically prohibits you from requiring an objecting pharmacist to refer, and likewise prohibits you from requiring pharmacies to carry Plan B. Please review RCW 48.43.065 (2) (a) and RCW 70.47.160 (2) (a). Each of these statutes provide that health care providers may not "under any circumstances" be required to participate in the provision of a specific service "if they object to so doing for reason of conscience or religion." Pharmacists are included in the definition of "health care providers." Even if you adopt a rule which satisfies the particular plaintiffs in the existing federal court case, enactment of a rule requiring referral will make the State susceptible to a lawsuit based on state law, referenced above. I urge you to repeal the existing rules immediately since those rules are clearly unconstitutional and inconsistant with this State's longstanding respect for conscience rights. Any rule which you do enact should comply with Washington law. Given the total absence of any evidence that Plan B (or any other drug) is not readily available throughout Washington, no substitute rule is needed. Any rule you do enact, however, should NOT require referral.
Sep 7 2010 4:41PM I strongly believe the Pharmacist's Board should amend the anti-conscience rules so those pharmacists that oppose abortion are not forced to offer a prescription that violates their belief that life begins at conception and not birth. It is difficult for me to understand how a board could force those that answer to it to offer a pill that violates their core (and even religious) belief in right to life. Please consider the amendment. Thank you, Nik Baumgart
Sep 7 2010 5:06PM people should be allowed to refer to other pharmacies if they have a conscientious objection to dispensing medication.
Sep 7 2010 5:07PM I wish to stand with the Stormans and their opposition to being forced to sell a product that offends their personal beliefs. In this land of the FREE? and the brave, let them make their own decisions. No need for a government entity to involved. Ray Burke
Sep 7 2010 5:21PM Individuals should not be forced to violate their conscience, and a rule that directs them to violate their conscience or face consequences should be examined for constitutionality. Please change the rule, it is wrong.
Sep 7 2010 5:28PM When the consciences of pharmacists are violated to the extent of threatening their religious adherence and respect for the sanctity of life, then the rest of society can assume that their 'rights' are dispensable as well. Do not let the 'right' of a person to kill their own child through an abortifacient destroy a pharmacist's right not to participate in such an act.
Sep 7 2010 5:41PM Violating Someones Conscience and belief goes against being a free american. Taking away someones ability to runs their bussiness according to their moral code crosses a line for the government. We are a free nation.
Sep 7 2010 5:47PM I agree that the "right to conscience" should be provided for pharmacists. It would be a terrible attack against the founding principles of our nation if people could not in good conscience withdraw without penalty from an activity that offends their moral values. Particularly when that activity remains widely and freely available by other avenues than through the offended party. HM
Sep 7 2010 6:05PM It is important that people are allowed to act out of their conscience about issues. They need to have that freedom and live with the consequences born out through the populace, as to whether they will continue to support that pharmacy. And besides there are pharmacies and other places to purchase these morning after pills. We must follow the boundaries of our Constitution, born out of the Word, so we personally can choose dignity for all life, whether others consider lives of certain persons of little value or are in error as to how they view life for the moment. Those that make the choice to end life, should not be able to tie others hands, that don't agree with this practice, to being accomplices to a ideology of death of the unborn. Thank you!
Sep 7 2010 6:13PM The Board has put forward a proposal that would revisit the issue of medication refusal and whether pharmacies can refuse to fill certain medications because of pharmacist personal or ideological beliefs. This is a critical issue for sexual assault survivors. I am deeply concerned that the Board of Pharmacy is reconsidering the issue and potentially adopting a position that would undo and deny patients thier rights to medical care. If pharmacists are able to deny survivors of sexual violence access to critical remedies such as emergency contraception, they are jeopardizing that individuals health, safety, and recovery. The ramifications are significant for victims of sexual assault! Survivors who need medication from pharmacists need urgent help and may already feel vulnerable and traumatized. Adoption of such a policy will further perpetuate thier victimization and sense of powerlessness. Implementation of such a policy jeopardizes the health and personal well-being sexual assault victims across the state. Nationally it is estimated that over 32,000 women become pregnant as a result of sexual assault1. One of the biggest fears for rape victims in the aftermath of an assault is becoming pregnant. In fact, the fear of pregnancy is a key reason why many rape victims seek any medical care at all. If a woman who has been assaulted wants to ensure that a pregnancy will not result from the assault, emergency contraception will provide her with the least invasive, safest method of pregnancy prevention. It is essential that that this prescription can be received with in the proper time frame (72 hours) for effectiveness. Survivors deserve immediate access! Sexual assault is a traumatic physical and psychological event and we should be working to reduce barriers that victims may face in obtaining legal medication instead of creating them. Our state legislature in 2002 supported emergency contraception as a critical remedy for rape victims who fear an untended pregnancy as a result of their sexual assault and that victims need access to it. It is simply tragic and offensive that as a state we are having this dialog again and that survivors are at risk of being penalized for seeking medical resources to which they are entitled . In addition to emergency contraception, access to medication regarding potential sexually transmitted infections is equally important. Quite simply, denying patients their right to medical care interferes with a doctor-patient relationship and should not be tolerated; referring men and women to other pharmacies is not a satisfactory substitute either. These policies can result in the individual being unable to fill their prescription in a timely manner. It is also important to remember that in many parts of our state the nearest pharmacy may be miles away creating yet another access barrier! Men and women need to know that they can get the medications they need without discrimination. Pharmacists are in a profession where they have taken on the responsibility to put the patient first, not themselves.
Sep 7 2010 6:19PM As a former business owner, I feel it is the right of business owners to make decisions of what products to sell. If selling a specific product goes against their business principles, they should not be FORCED to do so.
Sep 7 2010 6:26PM
Sep 7 2010 6:51PM I agree with the Pharmacy Board's ammendment to be able to refer patients to nearby providers when the provider has a conscientious objection to any form of aborting a fetus or potential fetus. As Americans, we should have no part in murder. No owner should be forced to participate in something that they conscientiously object to. Please do not overturn this ruling. Thank you.
Sep 7 2010 6:52PM Please let the pharmacists have the ability to chose not forcing any one to dispense drugs.
Sep 7 2010 7:31PM I concur with the intention to rewrite the current rule, which has been held up in court.   The purpose of Plan B and "Ella" is to prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg, if there is one, into the wall of the uterus, destroying the egg and killing this new life.  There is no question that the fertilized egg is a totally separate human being from the mother. Most woman have no idea how these drugs work and are not told that these drugs are ending the life of their own child, heightening the risk of certain cancers, infections, hormonal imbalances and emotional distubances. It is bad enough to allow the killing of a child and the exploitation of women all in the name of "choice" but to require unwilling people to participate in it is unjust, un-American and unwise. Under the current rule, some exceptionally trained people cannot be pharmacists. We will be allowing some of the most experienced, dedicated people out of the profession!  Please change the rule so that it contains an effective conscience clause for these vital citizens.
Sep 7 2010 7:42PM
Sep 7 2010 7:43PM I ask you with a great sense of urgency to amend the anti-conscience regulations so that providers with a conscientious objection to dispensing a drug can refer patients to nearby providers without fear of penalty or discrimination. Freedom of conscience must not be lost/actively destroyed in our country, and I urge you to proactively exercise your unique position to protect this precious freedom. The ramifications are huge. Thank you.
Sep 7 2010 7:48PM Whats the big deal if somebody does not want to dispense certian drugs. There will always be someone else who will want that sale.
Sep 7 2010 7:55PM I support the right of a pharmacist to follow their conscience in the performance of their duties, and be allowed to refer patients to other providers who will fulfill that request. I think it is very wrong for government or body to dictate that a person must violate their personal beliefs
Sep 7 2010 8:03PM
Sep 7 2010 8:20PM
Sep 7 2010 8:31PM The founding Fathers of our Nation, the United States of America, in the Declaration of Independence clearly established the principle of "Life, LIBERTY and the Pursuit of Happiness." Inscribed on the Liberty Bell at Independence Hall in Philadelphia are the words, "Proclaim LIBERTY throughout All the Land," (a quotation from the Bible in Leviticus 25:10). A strategic provision for any Democracy is the ability to express one's own personal conscience and convictions, by word or by deed. This means that an individual has the RIGHT to express FREELY, without fear of retaliation or punishment, that individual's personal convictions with COURAGE and FREEDOM. Yes, I am PRO-LIFE and have very strong personal convictions for a solid position of RIGHT TO LIFE for any person. Several years ago I was a delegate to the WHITE HOUSE CONFERENCE ON THE FAMILY and was also the co-author of a document on the "Right to Life" by any person. Therefore, I commend the Pharmacy Board for considering the possibility of amending the current "anti-conscience" regulations concerning a "morning after pill." I also strongly urge the Washington State Board of Pharmacy to allow providers to refer patients to other nearby providers, if the pharmacist or pharmacy has a "conscientious objection" to dispensing a drug. For many years the United States Government has recognized the legal status of "Conscientious objection" in its military draft policy. Now it would seem logical and consistent that this same right should also be extended to pharmacists and pharmacies. I appeal to the Washington State Pharmacy Board to amend current regulations and allow any Pharmacist or Pharmacy in the State of Washington to refer individuals to other nearby providers because of "conscientious objections!"
Sep 7 2010 8:40PM No citizen employed privately or publicly should be compelled to provide a service that is against their personal beliefs. Especially when in our system, there are plenty of providers of such services. The right to conscientious objection and referral is essential to personal rights and does not hinder access to full range of health care services available to individuals. I urge you to amend this current stance to allow contientious objection and referrals. Thank you.
Sep 7 2010 8:41PM
Sep 7 2010 8:50PM All professions must have a right to conscience.
Sep 7 2010 8:53PM
Sep 7 2010 8:59PM I agree that the anti-conscience regulations must be amended to allow providers to refer patients to nearby providers if they have a conscientious objection to dispensing a drug. If not so amended then I will consider this regulation to be a violation by DOH of the principle of Freedom of Religion.
Sep 7 2010 9:08PM I believe pharmacists have the right to refuse to fill prescriptions on moral grounds
Sep 7 2010 9:10PM
Sep 7 2010 9:11PM
Sep 7 2010 9:14PM
Sep 7 2010 9:22PM
Sep 7 2010 9:26PM I concur with the Pharmacy Board's amendment to the anti-conscience rules. I do not think in a "Free Country" that any pharmacist should not be allowed conscience rights.
Sep 7 2010 9:31PM These pharmacists are providing a service and if in doing so they have a conscientious objection to a request for a drug, they must be allowed to follow their conscience and decline to provide. The patient requesting the drug should be referred to another provider who can meet their request. Each is then able to follow the dictates of their own conscience. The right to refuse protects the provider and the patient, allowing both to follow their own beliefs, but not at the expense of one over the other.
Sep 7 2010 9:33PM Pharmacists should be able to reject and then refer customers to other pharmacies if they believe it is against their conscience to dispense a particular drug and/or prescription.
Sep 7 2010 9:37PM I had to read the policy at least four times before I think I knew how to vote? I am for the pharmacy to have their right to choose to sell or not sell the "night after" drug! Nels Hollo
Sep 7 2010 9:55PM I request that you respect the conscience rights of pharmacists to refer customers to other pharmacies for prescriptions that violate their beliefs and may cause the termination of life.
Sep 7 2010 10:14PM Yes, I agree - Pharmacies that object to dispensing drugs that can kill (whether little people or big) should be allowed to put a sign up saying which drugs they will not dispense and so not have to refer anyone for any of those drugs thereby facilitating indirectly the same killing they wanted no part in.
Sep 7 2010 10:44PM It is unconstitutional to force anyone to offer these products against their will if they feel that it violates their conscience. It's not like these products can't be found at other near-by providers anyways. Its clear to me that this has nothing to do with making the abortion pills available but has everything to do with discriminating against those who have a different opinion.
Sep 7 2010 10:57PM let providers object and refer to participating providers with no objections
Sep 7 2010 11:19PM An individual pharmacist should be able to refer a customer to another pharmacist or pharmacy if he cannot in good concience fill a perscription due to his beliefs.
Sep 8 2010 12:24AM
Sep 8 2010 3:13AM
Sep 8 2010 4:11AM Please allow a citizen/provider the right to follow their conscience and allow them as providers to refer patients to nearby providers if they have a conscientious objection to dispensing a drug. We are a free country, do not force someone to violate their conscience.
Sep 8 2010 5:44AM I do not believe that anyone should have to dispense or supply drugs or help that is contrary to their beliefs. This is contrary to our freedom and rights and conscience of this country and God giving rights and responsibilities.
Sep 8 2010 6:27AM Pharmacists should not be forced to go against their conscience and sell drugs that they know are used to kill people.
Sep 8 2010 7:20AM I SUPPORT CONCIENCE RIGHTS OF PHARMACISTS. THEY SHOULD BE ABLE TO CHOOSE IF THEY DO NOT WANT TO GIVE CERTAIN DRUGS OUT.
Sep 8 2010 7:20AM
Sep 8 2010 7:30AM I support the amendment to allow providers a choice as to whether on not they want to provide a drug when there are legitimate moral and faith implications. Please amend the rule to allow for conscientious objection.
Sep 8 2010 7:45AM Government should not have the right to compel people to commit acts or provide services that go against their personal, moral or religious beliefs. Provided that such services are available and willing to be provided by others. No group should have the right to force Government to make people choose between their occupation and their rights as an individual. This is an outrageous and egregious display of Government interference and should be reversed from it's current standing. Please authorize rulemaking that will allow Pharmacists to provide medicine in accordance with their conscience and their rights.
Sep 8 2010 8:21AM Religious rights must be respected or we are no longer a country with true freedom!
Sep 8 2010 8:32AM It is a dangerous precedence to force health care providers to perform services that go against their conscience. In this case, please enable pharmacists to make decisions that they believe are in the best interest of their patients.
Sep 8 2010 8:41AM The fundamental aspect of this ruling is to increase freedom and choice, while still providing appropriate health care to individuals in need of controversial medications. I wish to support the conscience of pharmacists while at the same time allowing individuals the right to choose what medications they wish to imbibe.
Sep 8 2010 8:49AM I concur with the ruling which allows pharmacists to follow their conscience and refer customers seeking drugs which might cause abortions to other businesses which stock such drugs. No pharmacy stocks all drugs and so they direct customers to another business which does stock the desired drug. It is so simple. It is unconstitutional to require any business to sell what is contrary to their conscience. Please hold firm to your ruling and don't give in to those trying to force their agenda onto everyone.
Sep 8 2010 8:55AM
Sep 8 2010 9:19AM I believe that any person licensed to provide pharmacy services should provide any and all legal pharmaceuticals as requested in the course of normal business. I think all such licensees should exercise zealous professional oversight to help reduce prescription errors. No licensee should refuse to provide a legal service based on their personal moral or religious beliefs. If licensees are permitted to decide what services they will render and to whom, the profession of pharmacy will become a magnate for those who have a mission to deny emergency contraception to women whose circumstances they are in no position to know or rightly judge.
Sep 8 2010 9:25AM In a small community such as, Grays Harbor County, we need as many opportunities for women and young ladies to access health care products as possible. There are only two hospitals for the entire county and no Planned Parenthood. So limiting product options at the pharmacy also limits the available resources in our community for those in need.
Sep 8 2010 9:29AM Anyone in the health profession has a moral duty to cause no harm. Denying sexual assualt victims emergency contraception is harming them!
Sep 8 2010 9:29AM As a small business owner My comment is had sad is the day when our government tells us as business owners how and what to think and what kind of morals we are to have.
Sep 8 2010 9:31AM
Sep 8 2010 9:36AM
Sep 8 2010 9:46AM Pharmacists should NOT be granted approval/denial rights for any medication that is FDA-approved. It is their job to dispense accurately and follow physician recommendations -- if they disagree based on medical grounds, they should negotiate with the prescribing physician. Their disagreement regarding a prescription based on ethical/moral grounds should NEVER be allowed to influence performance of their duties.
Sep 8 2010 9:51AM Why would government want to force an individual to set aside their faith based rights? History has shown that this type of government is corrupt and they need to corrupt everyone they can to remain in power. A corrupt government also has a hard time seeing history and seeing that corrupt governments have always failed. Is this really the intent off the Pharmacy Board?
Sep 8 2010 10:04AM The Bible establishes that human life is sacred and I along with many others believe that life begins at conception. Therefore, I am opposed to the ending of every innocent human life. I believe it is wrong to force Pharmacists and health care providers to provide abortifacients to patients, especially when if forces these providers to violate their moral/religious conscience. Thank you for your consideration.
Sep 8 2010 10:07AM I strongly feel a person should not have to go against his/her personal religious beliefs in order to keep a job. Especially, if it is a clearly positioned Christian belief.
Sep 8 2010 10:17AM As therapist working with women of domestic abuse and sexual assault I feel that women need to have the right to any form of medication. In many cases, women in controlling and abusive relationships are forced to not use birth control (or their birth control is tampered with). Should these women need emergency contraception for example they should be able to get it with out having to worry about the pharmacist’s personal opinion. Women having access to emergency contraception can prevent pregnancy. Pregnancy is often a leading cause that women feel even more trapped in abusive relationships. In addition, as a Master of Social Work it is my ethical duty to leave my own bias at the front door when I walk into work. That ethical duty should be in place for any professional working in a public human service. Pharmacists do provide a human service since medication is a necessary part of health and adds to quality of life and daily functioning. Pharmacists are able to have personal opinions as we all do and have as humans, however, they should not able to impose their beliefs on others. Especially if those beliefs will dramatically affect other people's lives should they not be allowed to have access to medication in a timely matter.
Sep 8 2010 10:28AM No pharmacist should be compelled to sell abortion related drugs and products and should be given the option of referring the customer to another retailer.
Sep 8 2010 10:31AM Our country has usually respected the right for persons to object when faced with questions of life and death importance.
Sep 8 2010 10:34AM I am very concerned about the possible rule revision on medication refusal of emergency contraception to a person seeking this following a sexual assault. While you might have person views, this is not the place to individually exercise those views. As a Licensed Pharmacist your are there to serve the public that has come to you for assistance. I ask your board to look to your job and what your job requires you to do; and not the person views of a particular group. Thank you for your time
Sep 8 2010 10:56AM It is very clear to me that no one should be forced to sell anything to anyone if it violates the seller's conscience to use or sell a particular item. We live here in America because of freedom of choice, the opportunity to do what is right, not to have to do what we feel is wrong just because it might be politically correct. This is especially true when the item can be found and purchased in many other locations close by. No one could claim they are being discriminated against when the availability of the item is clearly there.
Sep 8 2010 11:02AM Thank you for your action to allow pharmacists to follow their consciences by not personally dispensing "morning after" drugs. If we teach people to violate their consciences in one area, how can we hope that they will make ethical, conscience-guided decisions in other areas? The success of democracy depends upon people maintaining personal ethical standards.
Sep 8 2010 11:12AM I strongly believe that Rape victims should have access to emergency contraceptives without being interrogated or simply refused service. Rape is, unfortunately, an extremely common event happening to almost 1 in 3 girls in their lifetime. I'd say closer to half of my closest friends have experienced some type of forced sexual assault. I personally do not believe that emergency contraceptives should be used in place of birth control but I think that it is impossible to distinguish between that and rape without a large amount of undue paperwork that may cause the victim to become further traumatized by the experience in having to recount the experience. I do not think that it is fair for others to have control over a woman's body and her right to choose not having a child as a result of a rape or sexual assault instance.
Sep 8 2010 11:16AM I work with parents who have children with developmental disabilities. Rape resulting in pregnancy is frequently used as a justification for the sterilization of young women with developmental disabilities. I personally know of 2 mothers who have has their daughters sterilized using this rationalization. In addition to rape and sexual assault prevention, knowledge of and access to emergency birth control is necessary to prevent this unnecessary surgery on healthy young women "for their own protection".
Sep 8 2010 11:16AM Sexual assault victims need access to emergency contraception.
Sep 8 2010 11:22AM I support the right of a pharmacist to refuse to dispense the "morning after" pill if they believe that it is preventing a fertilized egg from implanting in the womb. This would be a very early stage abortion. People who oppose early stage abortions on moral or religious grounds would have their rights violated if they are forced or threatened by government to dispense this product.
Sep 8 2010 11:26AM aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
Sep 8 2010 11:39AM We believe that in a free country we should be able to use our conscience as we believe it is our right. Pharmacists should not be forced to dispense abortion pills if they believe it is wrong.
Sep 8 2010 11:42AM Forcing pharmacists to violate their consciences in dispensing the abortion pill so goes against the fundamental tenets of our freedoms that to me it is alarming we are even having this discussion.
Sep 8 2010 11:56AM What's happening to freedom of choice in this country. If we can't live by our convictions, we are no longer a free democracy. The freedome of pharmacists and doctors must be preserved. Please do not allow this travesty to happen.
Sep 8 2010 12:14PM
Sep 8 2010 12:32PM
Sep 8 2010 12:35PM
Sep 8 2010 12:52PM Pharmacists should have the right to refer customers to other providers when they have a conscientious objection to the drug ordered. This right already exists for any other reason.
Sep 8 2010 12:58PM Those of us who are pro-life, such as my wife and I, strongly urge and plead that the Washington Board of Pharmacy includes a "conscience rights" in new regulations regarding the sale of abortifacients by pharmacies. There are plenty of pharmacies owned and/or operated by those who do not have a moral conflict with dispensing such products as Plan B, and Ella. So, anyone seeking to murder an innocent baby in this fashion will still be able to freely do so even with a "concience rights" clause.
Sep 8 2010 1:14PM Referral to other pharmacies will harm many patients, especially those who lack transportation, are in isolated areas, have disabilities, have suffered from sexual assault or other trauma, or whose insurance is not transferable. The best outcome for a patient is to have his or her medication needs met on site and in timely manner. I urge the board of pharmacy to keep the existing rule. Any changes will severely threaten patient access to needed medications. In addition, pharmacists should not restrict access to any drug that a patient is allowed to access and has been approved by the FDA. Keep your religion out of your work!
Sep 8 2010 1:18PM The patients that will be primarily affected by this amendment will be poor and vulnerable populations: those lacking transportation, those who are disabled, and those who may have been sexually assaulted. Limiting access to care for these groups will only serve to exacerbate the health disparities already present. As a care provider, I strongly object to the amendment as it is the patient's right to obtain drugs that they have been prescribed by their provider.
Sep 8 2010 1:21PM Medical professionals, specifically doctors and pharmacists take an oath to do best by their patients and more importantly, to do no harm. This oath does not make exceptions for reasonable care that may conflict with a professionals personal, specifically religious, beliefs when that care is proven safe and is reasonable. This legislation opens doors to all sorts of distortions of the obligation of health professionals to care for their patients and is not so far from the denial of care for all sorts of diseases and conditions based on a physicians personal beliefs, prejudices, or stigmas. Please protect medical care as we know it and defeat this proposed legislation.
Sep 8 2010 1:22PM Please continue to protect patients’ access to lawfully prescribed medication!!!
Sep 8 2010 1:29PM Healthcare is a service provided to the public, and in the delivery of this healthcare the rights of the patient must always come before the personal beliefs of the provider. In this case, pharmacists providing service must be required to check their personal beliefs at the door - this is a basic tenet of professionalism in the healthcare industry, and I find it mystifying that the Pharmacy Board would decide that pharmacists should operate under a totally different set of rules from those that govern the rest of the healthcare community. Healthcare providers who cannot provide service to their patients that is up to the standard of professional care should be asked to seek a different career path - to decide to cater to such unprofessionalism sets a terrible precedent that is harmful to the state. I regard this decision as unprofessional, and as one which casts a very unflattering light on the WA Pharmacy board.
Sep 8 2010 1:35PM I believe that the state should not force people to violate their conscience in order to stay in business. Let them refer customers to those who have no qualms about selling the abortion pills.
Sep 8 2010 1:40PM The health of our state and citizens depends on access to necessary pharmacy services. As a public health graduate student with particular interest in rural health, I am writing to express my deep concern about the negative ramifications of this policy. Referral to other pharmacies will harm many patients, especially those who lack transportation, are in isolated areas, have disabilities, have suffered from sexual assault or other trauma, or whose insurance is not transferable. The best outcome for a patient is to have his or her medication needs met on site and in timely manner. I urge the board of pharmacy to keep the existing rule. Any changes will directly threaten patient access to needed medications, an outcome that we as health professionals cannot allow.
Sep 8 2010 2:07PM I support individual business to have the option of not providing this drug. The rights of a few should not be forced on those who have a differing view. Submitted by: Jim Wallace
Sep 8 2010 2:19PM Thank you for reconsidering the rules for pharmacists; please ensure that pharmacists are allowed to follow the dictates of their own conscience, so that they are not required to provide medications or services that they consider unethical. Note that facilitated referral should not be required because this makes the person providing the referral complicit in providing the objectionable medications. Right of conscience is an inalienable right, fundamental to American law and society and evident in the Hippocratic Oath. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…" --Bill of Rights, First Amendment. “No individual health care provider, religiously sponsored health carrier, or health care facility may be required by law or contract in any circumstances to participate in the provision of or payment for a specific service if they object to so doing for reason of conscience or religion. No person may be discriminated against in employment or professional privileges because of such objection.” --WA State RCW 48.43.065 (2)(a). “No person or private medical facility may be required by law or contract in any circumstances to participate in the performance of an abortion if such person or private medical facility objects to so doing. No person may be discriminated against in employment or professional privileges because of the person's participation or refusal to participate in the termination of a pregnancy.” ---WA State RCW 9.02.150 “I will neither prescribe nor administer a lethal dose of medicine to my patient even if asked, nor counsel any such thing, nor perform act or omission with direct intent deliberately to end a human life.”—Hippocratic Oath. There are medications and medical procedures that are subject to controversy regarding the ethics of their use. Every health care provider must answer to their own conscience for their actions. Physicians do not have to perform abortions, prescribe lethal medications for assisted suicide, prescribe birth control pills or “emergency contraception,” or act in any other way which conflicts with their conscience or, in their professional opinion, with good medical practice. Nor do they need to refer patients for procedures or medications that they consider unethical, as referral makes one complicit in participation. Pharmacists are a vital part of the health care team, and are entitled to similar rights of conscience. The United States has a system of free enterprise; pharmacy owners should be able to decide which medications to stock or dispense, and which ones they will not carry. Such decisions may be based on moral, economic, safety, or other reasons. Pharmacists who do not want to dispense medication or refer to another pharmacy should not be forced to do so. They are entitled to protection of their right to conscience, like any United States citizen.
Sep 8 2010 2:33PM
Sep 8 2010 3:29PM Please allow us the right to do as our conscience dictates and not make this a country without morals. I believe in the right to life and the right to make my own decisions, let this not become a country without freedom of speech
Sep 8 2010 3:35PM As a medical student, my responsibility is to act first as a patient advocate. Referral to other pharmacies will harm many patients, especially those who lack transportation, are in isolated areas, have disabilities, have suffered from sexual assault or other trauma, or whose insurance is not transferable. The best outcome for a patient is to have his or her medication needs met on site and in timely manner. I urge the board of pharmacy to keep the existing rule. Any changes will severely threaten patient access to needed medications.
Sep 8 2010 4:09PM
Sep 8 2010 4:40PM We should have the freedom to stand for our moral values. yest.
Sep 8 2010 4:50PM
Sep 8 2010 7:16PM I understand the Board is considering amending the anti-conscience regulations to allow providers to refer patients to nearby providers if they have a conscientious objection to dispensing a drug. Bravo! I applaud you! Freedom... People are free to follow their conscience on whether to get the drug or not, and pharmacists are free to follow their conscience on whether or not to stock the drug. That is the true essense of freedom.
Sep 8 2010 8:07PM The below is the statement from YWCA Clark County regards proposed rule changes to WAC 246-863-095 YWCA Clark county supports women having access to Plan B emergency contraception drugs as prescribed. Current WA State law reflects this, and should not be altered to discriminate against women having legal prescriptions for this drug therapy. Women who have been prescribed this drug may have been recent victims of violent crime or sexual assault and may be in considerable mental and physical distress. In many rural areas of WA State they would be required to travel considerable distances to obtain an emergency contraceptive drug from an alternate pharmacy. This places a cruel and unfair burden on these women, and is in opposition to YWCA Clark Counties reproductive rights policy. This policy states that "all women must have access to quality health care, including reproductive rights services." YWCA Clark County opposes any change to WAC 246-863-095 as it is currently written. Michael D. LaLone Vice President Public Policy YWCA Clark County
Sep 8 2010 8:30PM No profession should be obligated to act against an individual's conscience be it of religious nature or otherwise. Doing otherwise would be un-American and a slap into the face of freedom that we enjoy in this country. In essence it would be a violation of 1st amendment rights.
Sep 8 2010 9:38PM
Sep 8 2010 9:50PM Please amend the anti-conscience regulations to allow providers to refer patients to nearby providers if they have a conscientious objection to dispensing a drug. Thank you. Linda Pate
Sep 8 2010 10:18PM I have a personal friend who was a pharmacist and was deeply concerned about this issue. He shared this with me several times. I believe that pharmacists and pharmacies should have the right to follow their consciences in this matter. Thanks!
Sep 8 2010 10:30PM We wholeheartedly support CONSCIENCE RIGHTS and can scarcely fathom that in this 'free country', that right was taken away in the first place. We support an amendment to the Washington Pharmacy Board's regulation that would reinstate the Pharmacists' and Pharmacies' right to refuse to dispense of abortifacients such as Plan B or Ella.
Sep 8 2010 10:40PM I believe that the proposed rule change is inappropriate for two reasons. First, it will create an undue obstacle in the doctor-patient relationship that could adversely affect the patient's outcome by inserting a pharmacist's unpredictable personal moral judgment into the discussion between the patient and doctor. Second, the rule would be discriminatory against lower income individuals and people in rural areas who may not be able to travel or afford another pharmacy. I therefore think that the rules should not be changed. Respectfully Submitted, John F. Dorsey Medical Student University of Washington
Sep 8 2010 10:52PM I absolutely believe that Washington pharmacists and pharmacists worldwide, for goodness sake, should have the right not to dispense Plan B/Ella. These are abortifacients, and that would certainly go against my conscience. Nor do I think the pharmacists should be obligated to refer patrons to other stores which sell them. This is a free country--well it was some years ago, anyway. Stores should be able to sell what they want to sell to whom they want to sell it, as long as they are acting within the law. There is far too much government regulation in this state and country.
Sep 8 2010 11:11PM The idea that a Pharmacist would be forced to dispense drugs that go against their conscience is appalling to me. Please make sure that this does not happen.
Sep 9 2010 7:44AM It is without doubt, immoral, unethical & un-American not to mention a God-less law that forces one to administer a product that terminates or kills a potential baby being born if it is against their conscience to do so. I urge you in the strongest terms to amend this law to allow those with the heart & conscience to stand by their convictions. with Respectful Regards Mark D Schalk
Sep 9 2010 9:13AM No matter what hesitations a doctor or pharmacist has about emergency contraception, it should never be within their ability to withhold it from ANYONE. No matter the reason, no matter the situation, a woman has a right to prevent unwanted pregnancy with emergency contraception. Women's bodies have been controlled for far too long; please don't let withholding contraception be another form we as a society add to the centuries of abuse and control of a woman's body.
Sep 9 2010 9:20AM I concur with the proposed rule upholding pharmacists' conscience rights.
Sep 9 2010 9:45AM If this is allowed and care providers are able to impose their own ideals and values onto the people in their care - where on earth will this stop? Does a doctor/pharmacist get the right to tell someone that because of their own value system they have the right to take away and/or refuse care or medication which is readily available to others? The changes need to start at the root - not be accommodating individuals. If someone going into a career which provides services/care to others has "issues" with some of those services, then they should not qualify for that position. What would happen if police were averse to protecting/serving certain people?; if fireman only put out fire where they saw fit?; if doctors only provided emergency care to those who "qualified"?; Would we consider those people fit to do the job - no we would tell to look into another career. The same goes for pharmacists - they do not, should not, and if our government is in it's right mind, WILL NOT ever have the right to serve only those who fall within their personal belief parameters. The government should back far away from putting this type of power, based on personal values, into the hands of people who have no right to judge others.
Sep 9 2010 9:46AM I strongly support the right of pharmacists & pharmacies to conscientously object to dispensing plan B and ella. No one should be told against their beliefs to be apart of killing or taking a life, no more than anyone should be brought into an act which is illegal in the sight of God period.
Sep 9 2010 9:57AM I am pleased with the Board's ammendment to provide greater protection for pharmacists' conscience rights. Giving pharmacists the ability to refer rather than dispense is the right way for the state regulations to read on a sensitive matter such as this. Thank you!
Sep 9 2010 11:29AM Please support the right of pharmacists and pharmacies to conscientiously object to dispensing products such as Plan B and Ella. I am a public health professional (retired, State of Washington) and I understand the arguments and issues involved, however if we as citizens, whether individuals or privately owned businesses, are not able to object to acting against our conscience, especially when there are plenty of alternatives, what do we have left as human beings? Ethics begins and is based within a person’s own conscience. Privately owned businesses should be able to make decisions of conscience when it comes to stocking and selling any product. A hardship for patients does not exist when there are plenty of pharmacies around that stock and sell those products. Thanks for receiving my comments!
Sep 9 2010 11:33AM I concur with CR 101 for the board to consider amending the present rules. A society that denies individuals the right to act in accord with their conscience, being forced to either violate one's conscience or abandon one's livelihood is an act of the worst sort of oppression. The patient has a right to be taken care of AND the pharmacist has the right to act in accord with their conscience. Thank you, Sincerely, Daphne McBreen R.Ph.
Sep 9 2010 12:04PM When deciding whether individual pharmacists should have the right to impose their moral views on customers who need birth control medications, I hope the board will remember the hundreds of thousands of women who live in rural areas, and for whom being referred to another drug store tens or hundreds of miles from her home will be an insurmountable problem. We in the city take for granted the choice of drugstores we have--rural folks don't have those choices.
Sep 9 2010 1:22PM Men and women need to be able to know they can get perscriptions without discrimination. Those who have been sexually assaulted need to have the ability to be given emergency contraception or medication for sexually transmitted diseases as a remedy for unplanned pregancy or such infections.
Sep 9 2010 2:33PM No private business in our state should be coerced to sell a product that violates their conscience and moral code. Please make the changes necessary to insure freedom of conscience for businesses in our state. Thank you
Sep 9 2010 3:00PM Please do not force pharmacists to intentionally aid those seeking to end the beginning of life inside their bodies. This is immoral and demeaning to many individuals who believe in the sanctity of each individual life, regardless of the decisions of those bringing that life into the world.
Sep 9 2010 3:22PM
Sep 9 2010 3:36PM I believe it should be the right of every individual to act according to one's conscience. To take this right away is one small step towards communism. What rights of ours will be taken away next. The conscience is a very valuable thing that all individuals have been born with. To take this right away from our pharmacists is taking their most valuable rights away. Why would it be the right of the costomer to purchase a product that is by a pharmacists belief wrong? What makes the costomer more valuable? Why not send that costomer to another pharmacist whose conscience will not be bothered by dispensing the perscription? Lets treat all our pharmacists with dignity and respect!
Sep 9 2010 4:00PM Pharmacists are professionals and shouldn't let their personal feelings trump women's health. I've personally used emergency contraception (as a teenager). The pharmacist who helped me was courteous and professional. I expect every pharmacist to do the same.
Sep 9 2010 7:33PM We need to seek a permanent prohibition against enforcement of the new rules and the Washington State antidiscrimination law, WLAD, Wash. Rev.Code Ann. § 49.60, against “pharmacists and pharmacies that object to dispensing Plan B on moral or religious grounds.
Sep 9 2010 9:13PM Please allow the pharmacists to refer customers to other pharmacies, and don't force them to sell the drugs they disagree with on moral grounds. Would you like to be forced to dispense anti-abortion and Christian faith tracts at Planned Parenthood, or do you disagree and feel you shouldn't be coerced?
Sep 9 2010 9:45PM I believe the right and duty to act according to our conscience is a foundational principle of liberty. A society that denies individuals the right to act in accord with their conscience, being forced to either violate one's conscience or abandon one's livelihood is an act of the worst sort of oppression. The right to act according to one's conscience is a right that no American should be apathetic about. There is no lack of availability of abortion-inducing drugs, including the so-called “Plan B” drug, for any woman who wants them. Therefore, pharmacists and other health-care workers shouldn't be punished for abiding by their beliefs. They should never be forced to abandon their pro-life convictions in order to appease a government agenda. Thank you for considering my opinion. Franky Wong
Sep 9 2010 11:14PM Pharmacists and other health professionals have a moral and professional duty to provide access for people. When I was an EMT I was not able to pass moral judgment or excuse myself from care of an individual for any reason. In fact such an action would be abhorrent. I think pharmacists are asked to do no less by making medicine accessible to the population and no exceptions should be made for their individual beliefs. Their actions should be dictated by the requirements of the professions which must extend to all people
Sep 10 2010 6:52AM Supporters of abortion claim that it is about the right to "choice". We see that this is not their honest desire when it comes down to issues like this and the "choice" of other people to make a moral decision when it comes to dispensing medication designed to do something they consider morally wrong. I concur with the board that the regulations should be amended to allow a referal to another provider instead of being forced against one's conscience to dispense a particular (in their opinion, LIFE ENDING) drug. Thank you for considering amending this and please go through with it. Isn't it supposedly about freedom of choice? - Jennifer
Sep 10 2010 7:03AM I appreciate the forum for the public opinion.
Sep 10 2010 9:06AM Please continue to protect patients’ access to lawfully prescribed medication.
Sep 10 2010 11:55AM Thank you for considering that personal moral values are important in all fields, especially including the medical field.
Sep 10 2010 1:15PM I concur with the CR101, that the board is considering for amending the rules to allow more options for pharmacists. Pharmacists and pharmacies should not be forced to violate their conscience and dispense Plan B , the morning after pill. Thank you for your consideration in this matter! Sincerely, Carol & Bob Brown
Sep 10 2010 1:27PM Please protect the right of individual pharmacists to live by their consciences. No one should be forced to sell products that he or she believes is immoral.
Sep 10 2010 1:54PM Pharmacists should have NO decision power over ANY prescription that a DOCTOR has prescribed. Period.
Sep 10 2010 2:03PM Pharmacists should not be allowed to block patient's access to time-sensitive medications. A pharmacist's job is to dispense medications, not make moral judgements on others and withhold medicines that were prescribed by a medical professional or are over the counter because the pharmacist disagrees with a customer's perceived lifestyle or decisions. Please do not change the pharmacy board rules to allow pharmacists to interfere in the health decisions of others.
Sep 10 2010 2:17PM Allowing pharmacists to discriminate against women seeking emergency contraceptives or birth control would be a travesty. Allowing a pharmacists to discriminate puts women in small towns at risk, is abusive, and should not be permitted in this state. I'm rather stunned that this rule is under consideration at all, especially in a progressive state like Washington that has historically recognized women's rights.
Sep 10 2010 2:33PM In regards to rewriting the rule governing a pharmacists ability to refuse to fill a legal and valid prescription because of personal morality, I urge the Board to adopt a rule that unequivocally protects patients against the irrelevant moral judgment of a pharmacist. It is absolutely unacceptable to allow an individual's moral judgment - which is inherently based on assumptions, stereotypes, and personal opinions - to interfere in the provision of health care. As you surely know, the role of a pharmacy in the health care of a community is integral. Health care providers who value their own moral belief (defined as "confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof," http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/belief) over the well-being of their patients are in the wrong profession. A "refuse and refer" policy is also unacceptable. It is unacceptable for those living in rural areas with pharmacies few and far between, and in some counties a day-long journey involving boats. It is unacceptable for those living in urban areas, where pharmacies may be more common, but time, money, transportation, and insurance coverage considerations are still considerable burdens. Please make patients access to compassionate and timely health care a priority; do not permit moral judgment at the pharmacy counter. Thank you for your consideration.
Sep 10 2010 2:36PM A Pharmacist's job is to inform consumers about the prescriptions/products, not choose whether or not they should receive them.
Sep 10 2010 2:38PM I am a Certified Nurse-Midwife and Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner in Seattle, working for community health centers that serve mostly low income people, whose access to care is limited, including to medications.  My comments reflect my work as well as my belief that all citizens deserve access to care, and that the BOP, pharmacies and pharmacists share the role we health care providers play in providing and protecting that access. Since 2006, I have been following the Board of Pharmacy rules re pharmacy and pharmacist refusal to fill prescriptions based on their personal beliefs about the medication or it's recipient.  The BOP crafted an excellent set of rules in 2007, including options for individual pharmacists to not participate so long as their pharmacy did so.  This provision should adequately address an individual pharmacist's potential ethical dilemma without compromising a client's timely access to care. Please note that although "Plan B" has been the focus of this debate, this is not the only drug that could be refused if the rules are changed-- one could be denied access to medications prescribed for the treatment of ANY condition. In response to the injunction against implementation of the BOP rules, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that  “the new rules do not aim to suppress, target, or single out in any way the practice of religion, but, rather, their objective was to increase access to all lawfully prescribed medications.”   They got it right, and we should be guided by their ruling.
Sep 10 2010 3:05PM This is not about personal beliefs, religion, or any other hot-button topic people are lighting torches over. This is simply a matter of a person's job duties trumping his or her moral beliefs. A profession is something you CHOOSE to do. If parts of that profession are against your beliefs, choose a different profession. A Christian doctor is OBLIGATED to do everything he or she can to save a homosexual person who has been in an accident. Were the doctor not OBLIGATED to do this, the sanctity of life would be lost on a moral whim. A pharmacist is OBLIGATED to provide patients with the drugs perscribed by their doctors. That is his or her JOB. There are hundreds of other jobs which utilize the exact same skillset but do not require a person to distribute birth control. Apply for one of those if you feel that your personal morality trumps your obligation. Because it doesn't.
Sep 10 2010 3:59PM While I personally believe that all pharmacists have the professional responsibility to dispense medication for legal prescriptions, I supported the existing Board of Pharmacy rules, and was pleased when the Board passed them unanimously in 2007. Allowing for individual pharmacists to refuse to dispense a medication while requiring pharmacies to fill all prescriptions was a reasonable compromise. These are strong rules that make sure patients' needs are paramount, but also allow for the personal beliefs of individual pharmacists to be respected. Washingtonians deserve access to the medications they need, including time-sensitive ones like emergency contraception, on site and on time. These rules protect patient heath by making sure that all Washingtonians can access the medications they need, when they need them. Changing them to allow pharmacies to refuse to fill a prescription inserts dangerous barriers between patients and their necessary medications (this is most clearly obvious in rural locations, where the location they are referred to could be too far to travel to). You must not change the rules so that a pharmacy can prevent an individual from getting the medications they need due to personal beliefs. It is the professional and moral responsibility of the pharmacy to to provide full access to all medications prescribed by medical professionals. As has been said by other commentors: "Pharmacies and pharmacists should not be allowed to pick and choose which medications they will and will not carry, based on their beliefs and/or prejudices."
Sep 10 2010 4:08PM The State of Washington's Constitution states: "Absolute freedom of conscience in all matters of religious sentiment, belief and worship, shall be guaranteed to every individual, and no one shall be molested or disturbed in person or property on account of religion . . . ." (Sec. 11) Freedom of conscience has been long-recognized in this country as an essential liberty and worth protection. It ought to be protected, regardless of one's occupation. Accordingly, there is no exception to freedom of conscience in the Washington Constitution based on one's occupation.
Sep 10 2010 4:19PM I urge the Board of Pharmacy to recognize and protect the rights of conscience. Let us remember that by recognizing the rights of conscience, and allowing a pharmacist to refer an individual to another pharmacy, does not deny that individual the ability to procure the drugs he or she is seeking.
Sep 10 2010 5:03PM I believe that pharmacists should not be allowed to discriminate against anyone by withholding any medication. This issue would not even be in question if it were about medications for, say, erectile dysfunction. From a religious standpoint, men are given physical responses by God and should be happy with what they've got, correct? Now allow pharmacists to tell any man with ED that he is not allowed to continue an intimate relationship with his wife. Try it - it wouldn't fly. This is no different. Women have every right to obtain birth control. People will have sex - even without birth control - and allowing pharmacies to do this will just result in more unwanted children who aren't given the attention they need. Also, allowing pharmacists to discriminate will result in massive boycotts across the nation. I, along with most of my innumerate friends/acquaintances, would gladly drive an extra few miles to get ALL prescriptions filled by a non-discriminatory pharmacist. This imposition of religion would not be good for anyone, consumer or pharmacist.
Sep 10 2010 5:29PM Thank you for Board of Pharmacy for revisiting your rules. Please rewrite your rules to fully protect pharmicists and pharmacy owners' right of conscience. Thanks again for your review and work on this important right.
Sep 10 2010 5:51PM The purpose of this message is to express my objection to pharmacists having to dispense medications that cause abortions if doing so would compromise their religious conviction that abortion is wrong and they do not want to have a part in aiding that wrongdoing. I would request that the Department of Pharmacy please approve the alternative ruling that would solve the problem by allowing the pharmacists to refer the customer to a nearby pharmacy that would fill the prescription. Both parties would be satisfied and there would be no violation of the right to freedom of religion. Thank you for your attention. D. Elizabeth Smith
Sep 10 2010 7:38PM I strongly support the rights of pharmacists and pharmacies to exercise their conscience and freedom to NOT dispense abortion medication or early abortifacients like Plan B. Please DO NOT force these unfair and unjust rules and regulations on the pharmacists who work so hard for us and are so important to our health care system. If you insist on passing such an unjust and unfair rule - you risk a great deal of cost and expense as the pro-life supporters will quite certainly take this to the legal system for resolution and justice. Please let the pharmacists continue to enjoy freedom and the ability to follow their consciences - just like any other citizen in the US.
Sep 10 2010 8:30PM Please respect and protect the conscience rights of all pharmacists. Thank you.
Sep 10 2010 10:00PM The greatest freedom any of us enjoy in this country is the freedom to make moral choices based on our conscience. Please insure that any changes made to your rules allow this freedom. If personal decisions by pharmacists are made which limit access to certain drugs, a sign could be posted at the pharmacy indicating where these items could be purchased without infringing on the freedom of anyone to follow the dictates of their conscience.
Sep 10 2010 11:36PM I support a rule that puts a patient's health above the personal concerns of the pharmacist.
Sep 10 2010 11:59PM Do NOT change the rule. The Board adopted a fair and effective rule that requires pharmacies to dispense all legal, FDA-approved prescriptions without discrimination or delay. Enforce that ruling!
Sep 11 2010 6:49AM
Sep 11 2010 6:51AM
Sep 11 2010 7:24AM Please allow pharmacists and pharmacies providers to refer patients to nearby providers when the providers have a conscientious objection to despencing plan b.
Sep 11 2010 7:44AM The issue is personal freedom and moral choice for the pharmacist, and personal freedom and health for the patient. The question begs, why not let the health care provider writing the presciption dispense the medication?
Sep 11 2010 10:06AM I agree that pharmacist should have the right to not dispense abortion drugs based on their religions beliefs. No citizen should be forced to dispense a drug that is intended to kill another human being. Also, our country is based on freedom and forcing them to dispense these drugs violates their right to have a choice.
Sep 11 2010 10:14AM I agree that pharmacist should have the right to not dispense abortion drugs based on their religions beliefs. No citizen should be forced to dispense a drug that is intended to kill another human being. Also, our country is based on freedom and forcing them to dispense these drugs violates their right to have a choice.
Sep 11 2010 10:22AM Please protect the rights of conscience.
Sep 11 2010 10:50AM I have read through all the preceding comments. At least one person says 'if a pharamacist doesn't want to dispense the drug, then don't be a pharmacist'. Hmmmm, do you suppose this person also promotes telling people 'if you don't believe in publicly-funded abortions don't pay taxes'? Many of the comments aren't worth the ether they're written on, no thought or logic was applied past the EVERYBODY GIMMEE WHAT I WANT NOW stage. I have gone to a pharmacy before which did not have medicine for the prescription I was trying to fill. I called the police....no, I went to another pharmacy and got what I needed. If people expect a pharmacy to be told exactly what to stock, next we'll have to start regulating how much they keep on hand in every situation. Just the fluctuation of supply and demand makes this impossible. What did people do when they couldn't get their flu shot at a particular location because the provider had run out? They went somewhere else. What will people do if their pharmacy, which DOES choose to stock their 'morning after' pills, runs out one day? Do you think they might go to another location? People who want ILLEGAL drugs seem to be able to get them so surely this will not be a problem for a LEGAL substance! The person who says a pharmacy 'is required by law to have a product in stock' has never run a business. Stocking is a 'best guess' of how much of a product will run through your business, if there is a sudden surge in demand any product could be out of stock. I am sure the members of the Washington Board of Pharmacy must make decisions regularly which they base on evidence they have studied, reviewed, and believe in good conscience to be the right decision. Why should other people be denied the right to conscience in their line of work? How can anyone function without basing their actions and decisions on their beliefs, whatever those might be? This is a question of whether, in this country, and in this state, people should be forced to violate their conscience. I believe pharmacists have a constitutional right to exercise their conscience. -- These are the times that try men's souls. - Thomas Paine
Sep 11 2010 11:14AM I agree with the Pharmacy Board's amendment. Sincerely, Diana Pitts
Sep 11 2010 12:47PM I find this proposed legislation deeply disturbing. Pharmacists are not in a position to make moral judgements or decisions about women who have doctor-issued perscriptions they are being asked to fill. They have no way of knowing the circumstances of the woman concerned, and I fail to see why it would be their business to make any judgement call at all. They are trained to be pharmacists, to use their skill and trainig to dispense the proper perscriptions they are asked for. Imposing their own subjective opinions, which would necessarily be based on their limited perception of a given situation, would be highly unprofessional and quite morally wrong itself. Let's keep some boundaries here, please. A woman coming to a pharmacist would have already discussed her situation with a doctor, and a pharmacist's job is to make sure she is getting exactly what she asks for. I have a high respect for a profession that involves as much precision and knowledge as a pharmacist's, but they need to stay within the bounds of their profession. Thank you for your attetion to my comments. Sincerely, Kathleen M. Flanagan Oxford, OH
Sep 12 2010 1:41AM I believe that the rule should be to allow pharmacists to follow their belief system. They can refer to other pharmacies. If someone is in a crisis situation, there will be people that can take them wherever they need to go to get the medical help they need. Please review the former policy and now allow each pharmacist to be able to comply with their own belief system.
Sep 12 2010 1:46AM
Sep 12 2010 2:04AM Some may incorrectly state that if we allow the filling of a particular prescription to be open to the individual decision of the dispensing pharmacist, based on his/her ethical concerns, we are allowing the prerogatives of non physicians to take precedence. This is obvioulsy in error as that would assume that people cannot drive to other pharmacies or get the medication by mail. Having to go to another place does NOT stop the perscription from being carried out to the Dr.'s orders. 2. Some may say this is a frivolous standard, one that can have many unforeseen consequences. This is also incorrect as the standard is clear you get it from pharmacies that participate and can be referred by those that do not. It is interesting that one group does not like when they do not have their way immediately and are willing to demand others conform to their wishes but do not allow the pharmacists to have any rights to stand by their beliefs. 3. Some may say that a prescription used for a purpose that he/she thinks unethical when in actuality it is not. This again is obsolete as perscriptions have a line to state the purpose of the medication. Many medication names are so close that this is now used frequently. The Dr. can simply state the purpose so there is no confusion. 4. Some may state that the patient has no responsibility to explain to a pharmacist the purpose of a particular prescription. On the contrary, the pharmacist should know the purpose so they can be sure this is the correct medication. Hence #3 above as per the Federal Study on medical mistakes. NOT knowing what the medication is for could CAUSE erroreous interactions NOT the other way around. 5. The pharmacist should be allowed to act on ethical concerns. Our country was founded on ethical principles. Denying the right to practice strong beliefs such as in this case is not prudent. No one is denying access permanently, just temporarily until they get to a pharmacy that is willing to supply this medication. 6. Currently if a product is not immediately available, it may be ordered overnight or otherwise obtained. Each pharmacy who wishes not to participate should be required to refer to another pharmacy so the person can obtain it like any other medication not available for any reason at the first pharmacy. 7. This proposed reasonable change to allow pharmacists to live by their belief systems allows both people to live by their conscience. The pharmacist can refer and the person can go to the next place. Both can be served this way. 8. Do you really believe that if this same person wanted to see the Seahawks or get a new 60 inch HD TV that they could not find a way to get there? Or at least have a friend take them? Follow the logic - the next pharmacy is so far away, the person has no car, the person has no friends who have cars, ...Let's be reasonable and responsible to both person's rights.....
Sep 12 2010 11:50AM Please ensure and protect pharmacists' right to make choices based upon their own personal conscience. Without personal discernment from within one's own conscience and the opportunity to adhere to one's personal conscience, there is no freedom of "choice" for pharmacists. It is inherently wrong and grossly unfair to purport to give "freedom of choice" to "patients" with regard to prescription drugs and "medical" intervention to "terminate pregnancy" while at the same time denying pharmacists' the same "freedom of choice" to not participate in that activity which they sincerely believe, along with tens of millions of other Americans (including myself) and which medical science in fact establishes, is the killing of an unborn child. Thank you. Anne Marie Liebhaber, Attorney at Law.
Sep 12 2010 1:02PM Forcing someone to violate their religious beliefs and conscience is worse than prohibiting this drug that ends a life. The person can be referred to someone who is willing do dispense the drug and there is no adverse effect except a slight inconvenience, but in the current case it forces the pharmacist to violate who they are as a person, the hight of intolerance and a violation of religious freedom. Change the current law to reflect what is right,
Sep 12 2010 2:43PM I do not think that pharmacists should have to comply with distributing drugs they believe kill a human being. Paul Quinn
Sep 12 2010 3:07PM
Sep 12 2010 3:16PM Washington state should not deny freedom to its citizens by denying them the right to choose not to provide services/products against their conscience. There are certainly many, if not the majority, that will provide such services. The state has a right to protect individual rights inspite of the loud, well-funded, and often hostile attempts by some to censure those with whom they disagree.
Sep 12 2010 4:34PM Thank you for revisiting the rules to consider protecting the right of conscience for pharmacists. It is imparative that pharmacists be free to excercise the right of consicence in their work, which is informed by their professional, ethical and religious views.
Sep 12 2010 6:11PM As a health care provider and business owner, I believe that individual professionals should not be forced to do something that violates their personal conscience. Just as there is tolerance for many forms of religious expression in our society, such as religious head and arm coverings in surgical suites, there should be tolerance for certain rare individuals who choose not to dispense medications that violate their conscience. Freedom of personal conscience is at the core foundational principles of our nation historically and philosophically. This includes religious conscience, which I believe trumps health care "access." It appears to me that the cost of the products (Plan B, etc) and lack of over the counter availability are greater barriers to access than rare pharmacists who prefer not to dispense these products.
Sep 12 2010 7:11PM If a pharmacist feels morally unable to provide medications and/or products to a patient, then it is that pharmacist's responsibility to ensure that it isn't their power or authority that fully prevents a patient from receiving these items. This is only an issue for those without the ability or means to travel and/or purchase these items for higher prices, causing undue stress for our poor, often rural, patients, potentially after being victims of sexual violence. Our system needs to not re-traumatize them. Pharmacists need to be held accountable for ensuring all legal medication/products are available to patients.
Sep 12 2010 8:35PM Please protect the conscience rights of pharmacists and all citizens. Allow providers to refer patients to nearby providers if they have a conscientious objection to dispensing a drug.
Sep 12 2010 8:35PM I fully oppose your rule forcing pharmacists and pharmacies to dispense Plan B; whatever the merits or lack thereof of the availability of this medication, individual pharmacists have serious personal philosophical and religious reasons to abstain from providing this medication, as it is a violation of their personal conscience. To force them to violate their conscience is totally unacceptable. Such a rule, in a time and place when such prescriptions may be provided by a variety of outlets, either storefront or on line, is as unnecessary as it is wrong.
Sep 12 2010 9:17PM I do not think that pharmacists should have to comply with distributing drugs they believe kill a human being. Gail Quinn
Sep 12 2010 10:13PM
Sep 12 2010 10:45PM 1. I believe that the right to follow your conscience is a basic right and is supported by the constitution. 2. People who want the 'morning after pill' can readily get it at other pharmacies. 3. Small pharmacies cannot afford to hire extra staff just to make this one drug available. 4. Pharmacies should have the right to carry the inventory they feel best. They cannot be expected to carry EVERY available drug. It is common to need to go to several pharmacies to obtain a little used drug. I have had to do this myself and do not think ill of the pharmacy that did not have the drug I needed. 5. If I owned a pharmacy and was required to carry this drug I would close shop before I complied. The pharmacists that do not want to dispense this drug feel as strongly as I do. Can we really afford to have small pharmacies in small towns close?
Sep 12 2010 10:58PM I support right of conscience and referral arrangements for Plan B for the following reasons: 1. Pharmacists are medical professionals. My wife and I often call our pharmacists to seek advice about medications as they are more accessible than physicians and this is the pharmacist’s area of expertise. If we deny right of conscience in this matter to pharmacists then logically we would have to do it to other medical professionals as well, including physicians. 2. To require pharmacies to hire additional staff so that there would be a pharmacist on hand whose conscience would not be violated by dispensing the morning after pill would be prohibitively expensive in many or most situations. 3. To require pharmacies to stock the "morning after pill" would be an undue financial burden for many small, independently owned and operated pharmacies. The small businessman ought to have the right to make purchase and inventory decisions as he or she sees fit and for what is best for their business. This is the kind of liberty our founders intended for us to have and gave to us via the Constitution. 4. In reality there is not lack of choice for patrons desiring to purchase the morning after pill. My understanding is that surveys demonstrate relatively few pharmacies would elect not to dispense the morning after pill. Thanks you for the opportunity to comment.
Sep 13 2010 10:53AM The right of religious liberty is one of the founding principles of this nation and it is wrong for the Board of Pharmacy to try to deny this right to pharmacists. Plan B can potentially act in an abortifacient fashion. To be forced to stock or dispense this would violate the rights of many who have religious beliefs against abortion.
Sep 13 2010 11:28AM I support a pharmacist's right of conscience. This will not interfere with a patient's access to medication. Please allow a true "choice" in this matter.
Sep 13 2010 11:54AM I am appalled at the way our own government is taking away our rights and freedom of choice,and putting pressure on boards to change their minds. Have they not read the statements and convictions of our founding fathers? It is not difficult for a woman to go to another pharmacy to get the pill that terminates her pregnancy. It is difficult for a pharmacist to stand before his God and be judged for willfully doing something he believes is morally wrong. The vast majority of Americans profess to be Christians and people of faith. Our government is making decisions contrary to the beliefs of the majority of the people. We need to remove these government leaders who are trying to control our citizens and replace them with leaders who will allow us the freedom of choice this country was founded upon.
Sep 13 2010 12:15PM
Sep 13 2010 12:21PM Please protect the sacred right to conscience.
Sep 13 2010 1:12PM "PLEASE PROTECT THE RIGHTS OF CONSCIENCE" THIS IS A GOD GIVEN RIGHT.
Sep 13 2010 1:36PM The objections being raised to this rules modification have nothing to do with access to medication. Rather, those who oppose these changes want to promote an attitude of indifference to promiscuity in order to expand their abortion agenda. The claim that women would not have timely access to 'plan B' or to 'ella' if pharmacies were allowed to not keep it in stock, has been shown by studies to be false. More importantly, pharmacists must be afforded the basic right to exclude from their businesses any product they cannot in good conscience participate in providing.
Sep 13 2010 2:14PM it's one thing to help someone form their conscience through dialog, but when your conscience is clear and you are doing the right thing for the sake of all involved, that is a formed conscience. When is gov. going to get it right? when are they going to stop forcing the issue. our government is the problem, certainly not the solution. Matt Ulrich
Sep 13 2010 2:31PM Please protect our right to conscience. In this day and age when so many of our rights are being taken away, at least let us have the right to act according to our morals and conscience. We should not be forced to act contrary to our moral and religious beliefs. This country was founded on that principle!
Sep 13 2010 2:44PM It is not right to violate a person's conscience. Please return the pharmacists' right to not fill a prescription causing an abortion.
Sep 13 2010 3:10PM It is imperative to allow pharmacists to be able to use their conscience while performing their job. Their higher education did not turn them into robots and they make important decisions regarding patient's health everyday. All of the people that are taking birth control pills or morning after pills are able to choose whether they want to take these pills or not and should not infringe on the pharmacists right of conscience. I am a nurse and aware that some of the abortionists deliver a viable baby and then expect the healthcare workers to let the human person die. It seems that the persons making the rules always sit behind the desk and never have to experience what this feels like. We are a team and I'm sure you will want someone to use their consciece when you are the patient. Choice goes two ways, and all the protestors have the choice of using another facility.
Sep 13 2010 3:28PM Please protect the rights of conscience.
Sep 13 2010 4:04PM Please protect the freedom each of us as Americans has to follow our conscience. Thank you
Sep 13 2010 4:35PM I strongly support the action of the Pharmacy Board to amend the anti-conscience regulations and allow providers to refer patients to nearby providers if they have a conscientious objection to dispensing a drug.
Sep 13 2010 4:53PM Please support the right of pharmist to form their own concscience.
Sep 13 2010 6:40PM Everyones right of conscience must be respected and protected.
Sep 13 2010 7:03PM Thank you for permitting me the opportunity to speak out for the rights of those in the medical community...including Pharmacists, Pharmacist Assistants, and Technicians, who have a moral and ethical objection to administering any drug currently on the market, or any new drug introduced to the marketplace in the future, that will abort an unborn child. There is, always has been, and with God's grace, will continue to be the free and solemn right of every individual to follow their conscience and the underlying belief system which has guided their conscience as it pertains to such important issues as life, death, ethics, law, and the morality of God's law. I sincerely hope the Board will recognize the importance of upholding the right of not just the loud minority, but will truly uphold the rights of every individual, including the defenseless and powerless unborn, by defending and concurring with the proposed rule to protect the conscience rights of the pharmacist community.
Sep 13 2010 7:07PM Thank you for considering reviewing the rules for conscience protections for pharmacists. I fully support the Board for re-visiting the rules to protect pharmacists and pharmacy owners’ right of conscience. Regulations should not deny individuals the right to act in accord with their conscience, nor should these regulations force individuals to abandon their livelihood if they disagree with regulations which violate their religious beliefs. Current WA State Law actually protects the right of conscience stating that “no person” or “medical facility” can be forced to refer for or participate in an abortion (RCW 9.02.150). “Every individual possesses a fundamental right to exercise their religious beliefs and conscience…. No individual health care provider, religiously sponsored health carrier, or health care facility may be required by law or contract in any circumstances to participate in the provision of or payment for a specific service if they object to so doing for reason of conscience or religion. No person may be discriminated against in employment or professional privileges because of such objection.” (RCW 48.43.065) The principles of these laws should be incorporated into the Washington State Board of Pharmacies' regulations.
Sep 13 2010 8:11PM Please respect and protect the right of conscience. No one should be forced to do something that they find morally sinful.
Sep 13 2010 8:40PM
Sep 13 2010 9:08PM Please protect the rights of conscience - this is very important!
Sep 13 2010 9:09PM Please protect the rights of conscience - this is very important!
Sep 13 2010 9:59PM Pharmacists should be able to fill prescriptions that do not go against their own personal beliefs and feelings. I would be so disappointed if I had spent 10 years of my life learning a profession only to find that I couldn't do it anymore because of laws that would force my hand to fill those prescriptions that I disagree with morally. Please stand up for the pharmacists.
Sep 13 2010 10:04PM As a Family Physician and business owner, I believe that individual professionals should not be forced to do something that violates their personal conscience. From the business standpoint: Requiring stocking of materials without consideration of the owners viewpoint is not in line with our free market system. Let's consider this example - The vegan grocery chooses not to serve meat products. Should EVERY market be required to stock meat? Of course not, it's the owners choice to provide what they are comfortable with. With post conception pregnancy elimination medications it is the owner's option to stock or not. If we REQUIRE pharmacies to stock every medication then where do you draw the line ? Chemotherapy (Which require specialized delivery) ? Specialized rare medications? Medications with short shelf lives which are by nature expensive ? Medications with the best marketing department? There is the problem. Each pharmacy owner MUST be able to decide what products fits their needs AND services their community or they will be forced out of business and provide NO service to their community. From the medical standpoint: Like most in my profession, I abide by the Hippocratic Oath, originally written in 400 BC it has guided our profession for the last 2400 years. Simply stated, it requires me to heal and not kill. As a result, I do not prescribe lethal doses of medication. I work hard to diagnosis and help each individual make a plan to allow healing. These plans for healing come from use of my medical training, life experience, clinical experience and moral basis. If I have to leave that which is me at the door of each encounter I violate my oath by not applying myself fully and I become a service provider rather tan a medical professional. Pharmacy professionals are no different. Their moral compass gives them the tools they need to compassionately provide advise, education and guidance to patients in need. To leave a rule in place which forces them to be complicit in acts they find objectionable would be counter to our country's history of individual conscience and just plain bad medicine. Karl Kuzis MD PhD
Sep 13 2010 10:22PM A pharmacist should not have the right to deny filling a prescription or to send the customer at the customers expense to another pharmacy simply because they do not agree with the prescription and what it does. The religious views of the pharmacist should remain views of only the pharmacist. If they are allowed to deny or request the customer go elsewhere to fill prescriptions like the morning after pill then their religious views are being imposed upon others essentially and that is not right. If someone has such strong views about certain prescription that they would go as far as denying to fill it then they should find another profession immediately. When the religious views of a pharmacist are allowed to delay or deny medications to a person we are stepping into dangerous territory and this must not be allowed.
Sep 13 2010 10:29PM The wonderful thing about America is that we have such freedom to hold firmly to our beliefs, whatever they may be, and to live in harmony with our beliefs, as long as we do no harm to our fellow citizens. Given the great variety of beliefs in our country, one can usually easily find businesses that provide service in harmony with one's core beliefs. Please do not try to force people to violate their consciences in the way they perform their work duties. Please continue to support our freedom, including the freedom for pharmacists to stock their pharmacies as they choose. If they do not meet a need in our society, they will go out of business. My experience here in America, compared with my experience in other countries, leads me to believe that our citizens do not suffer from significant barriers to access to medications.
Sep 13 2010 10:56PM I support the right of conscience of pharmacists to not dispense any medicine that would violate their morals.
Sep 13 2010 11:25PM I would like to express my strong support for the proposed rule that would give Pharmacists the right to refer patients who want Plan B, an abortion drug. I find it unconscionable that our state, which gives women the "right" to abort their children under the banner of "choice," is now demanding that pharmacists lose their "right to choose" on a matter of deep moral, religious and ethical ramifications. Their convictions are not about "convenience" as many abortions are. Current law is forcing good people to either transgress against their conscience, their God and their commitment to do only good in the service of others OR face the full coercive force of an abusive governemnt OR leave their practice of medicine. For those who believe that human life begins at conception, to require pharmacists to engage in dispensing abortion drugs is tantamount to requiring them to engage in murder. What legitimate government demands that of their best citizens? How are the best interests of our state served by demanding that good, moral, God-fearing and conscience-driven people either leave this state to practice their chosen profession or violate everything they hold dear? It is not. Please, come to you senses. Don't allow the "right to choose" of one group of people who are willing to kill their own offspring to destroy the "right of choice" of those who want to protect, save and preserve human dignity, value and the sanctity of life. Sincerely, Dr. John S. Repsold
Sep 14 2010 6:10AM May our God bless our efforts in doing the right thing.
Sep 14 2010 6:27AM Regardless of a persons stand on abortion, asking a right-to-life pharmacist to administer drugs to abort a fetus is like asking someone to execute a person they believe or feel is innocent. It would be no different in that persons mind that they are being forced to commit murder. The United States isn’t Nazi Germany, not yet anyway.
Sep 14 2010 9:30AM
Sep 14 2010 9:30AM
Sep 14 2010 9:31AM “Please protect the rights of conscience
Sep 14 2010 9:33AM Please protect the rights of conscience by amending the rule and allowing pharmacists not to distribute abortifacients.
Sep 14 2010 10:55AM The current proposed rule is a good one for supporting conscience rights.
Sep 14 2010 10:58AM The right of conscience of pharmacists to not dispense a medicine based on their moral convictions requires protection. To force a fellow human to do something against their conscience is unacceptable in our democracy. The right of conscience is well founded and is the basis for the conscientious objector status for those who object to killing a fellow human in a war. The person wanting to obtain Plan B has several reasonable options as to where to obtain it, all of which accomplish their goals. The pharmacist who finds dispensing a medicine against their morals has only one option; which is to not dispense it. If we start telling health care providers that they must participate in care against their moral values we will suffer a loss of many wonderful providers. As a physician I would leave medicine before I allowed the government to rescind my rights of conscience, forcing me to participate in actions I abhor on moral grounds. The loss of health care providers would do much more damage to the health of our state’s citizens than would occur to the rare patient who had to drive to a second pharmacy. Regardless of whether a person is for or against the use of Plan B we should all protect the right of conscience for all Americans. (If you were a blacksmith before the Emancipation Proclamation, and a slave owner came and requested a set of chains for his legally owned slave would you want to be forced by your government to provide them?) Please protect our pharmacists and thus support the right of conscience for all Americans
Sep 14 2010 11:06AM I strongly beleive that it is not moral, and not allowed under our U.S. or Wash. Constitutions, and not in line with US history concerning freedom of religion and freedom of conscience, to force pharmacists who have a deeply held religious belief to choose between loosing their jobs or acting in accordance with their beliefs. In a pluralistic country, we should be able to live and work together even when our world and life views differ, but forcing pharmacists to go against their moral beliefs should not be required in this country where human rights (freedoms) are valued. I don't believe anyone will be forced to forgo the drug treatment simply because a few pharmacists are allowed to abstain. It would seem that those objecting to the current proposed rule really object to the different views on sanctity of life behind the pharmacists' positions, and the objectors don't want these pharmacists to be able to express their different world views because it makes the objectors uncomfortable. But discomfort in hearing another's opinions should not shut down freedoms. Freedom of religion, conscience and expression are still important here - not just for views one agrees with but also for views one disagrees with. I concur in the proposed rule.
Sep 14 2010 12:53PM Our right and our duty to act according to our conscience is a foundational principle of liberty. A society that denies individuals the right to act in accord with their conscience, being forced to either violate one's conscience or abandon one's livelihood is an act of the worst sort of oppression.
Sep 14 2010 1:16PM A medical doctor or pharmacist's first duty as a licensed practitioner is to his or her patients, and the ethical protection and advancement of those patients' health. I very strongly believe that it is the antithesis of ethical health care for a practitioner to place their individual moral or religious beliefs before the informed choices of their patients, or their patients in consultation with the patient's treating provider. These are, no doubt, difficult issues, which raise the most personal of our beliefs and convictions. However, when we take oaths of service, we must remember that we are committing ourselves to a calling higher than that of our individual beliefs. Particularly in a secular society, in a state where public money is used across the heath services spectrum, access to medical and therapeutic treatments must be dictated by law (i.e., these treatments are legal, and therefore accessible) rather than by individual persuasion. While in many cases the proposed rule would simply be an inconvenience (an urban dweller may find it easy to go to the next pharmacy), it may be one that is shrouded in judgment and stigma. On the other hand, it may be that there is no other accessible pharmacy and the personal moral leaning of the pharmacist supplants the patient's choice of care. This is not an acceptable outcome in our society. For these reasons I strongly urge the Board to NOT adopt the proposed rule.
Sep 14 2010 2:02PM Pharmacists get paid to dispense medication, not judgement. Do we allow firefighters to decide not to respond to a flaming tavern because they think it's wrong to imbibe alcohol?
Sep 14 2010 8:17PM I agree that the anti-conscience regulations be amended to allow pharmacists to refer patients to nearby providers if they have a conscientious objection to the dispensing Plan B and Ella.
Sep 14 2010 8:18PM Please protect the right of conscience with our pharmacy.
Sep 14 2010 10:32PM Pharmacists should have the right to decide based on their conscience.
Sep 14 2010 11:32PM Thanks for opening this rule for amendment. The pharmacist/ pharmacy should not be forced to stock/dispense all medications. Pharmacists should be allowed to refer patients whenever a specific medication is not in stock. This should also be allowed for presriptions/requests for Plan B or Ella.
Sep 14 2010 11:35PM I urge you to re-write the rules regarding pharmacists and pharmacy owners' rights of conscience in order to protect the religious liberty of these productive and necessary state citizens. It is so important to protect the right of conscience for all citizens. Please allow pharmacies and pharmacists to follow their own conscience with regard to life-ending medicines and other controversial pharmaceuticals. Simply allow those citizens to refer other citizens to businesses that have no moral or religious objection to carrying and delivering those pharmaceuticals. We all must be allowed to follow our conscience in personal and professional matters.
Sep 14 2010 11:39PM Please renew the freedom of conscience for all.
Sep 15 2010 5:53AM One's beliefs should never be held up over one's rights. To allow pharmacists to practice under "belief" and override a doctor's prescription and a patient's right to have their prescription filled is ludicrous on it's face. Pharmacists that believe their religion or "conscious" rates higher than a doctor and patient should not be licensed. How dare they inject their conscious and religious beliefs into my medical care?! Start a religious or "conscious" pharmacy where you don't have to fill prescriptions for birth control, HIV, STD's or whatever else your conscious deems immoral. Isn't there something in the bible about judging?
Sep 15 2010 6:25AM I'm appalled at how many comments here believe that religious (as long as it's their religion) conscience is more important than someone's medical care. I should be able to have my prescription filled no matter what religion my pharmacist practices - the pharmacist is there to fill prescriptions not practice religion on unwilling customers. Leave the rule the way it is.
Sep 15 2010 7:03AM I support the right of a pharmacy or pharmacist to refer patients to nearby providers rather than requiring them to dispense medication such as Ella and Plan B. I view these medications as contributing to the wrongful taking of human life. Requiring pharmacies and pharmacists with similar views to dispense the medication forces them either to actively participate in this wrongful taking of life, or to suffer economic harm from abandoning employment or business ownership.
Sep 15 2010 7:47AM Amending the rules in this area will still allow patients to receive desired medications and yet leave room for the pharmacist's right of conscience. It is a workable compromise to a controversial situation.
Sep 15 2010 8:57AM I ask the BOP to amend rules WAC 246-869-010 to allow pharmacists to decline filling medications based on their conscience and understanding of their own religious principles.
Sep 15 2010 9:53AM Please amend rules WAC 246-869-010to allow pharmacists to decline filling medications based on their conscience. Thank you.
Sep 15 2010 10:19AM Every pharmacist should have the right to deny or refer on the grounds of conscience. PLEASE say YES to this amendment. Thank you.
Sep 15 2010 10:20AM Thank you for considering amending the anti-conscience regulations to allow providers to refer patients to nearby providers if they have a conscientious objection to dispensing a drug. I wholeheartedly support giving this option to pharmacists.
Sep 15 2010 10:20AM Every pharmacist should have the right to deny or refer on the grounds of conscience. PLEASE say YES to this amendment. Thank you.
Sep 15 2010 10:24AM I it is my belief that no one should be forced to do something they feel is moraly wrong.
Sep 15 2010 10:27AM
Sep 15 2010 10:41AM
Sep 15 2010 10:52AM Government should not force society to violate personal conscious and such a serious matter.
Sep 15 2010 10:55AM Individual concience positions should be respected. Are we becoming like the former Nazi Germany when the State dictated moral position? Pharmacists who find abortion and abortion medications in conflict with their moral convictions should have the right not to dispense such drugs. The obligation to refer to other pharmacists should be more than adequate to accomodate patient interests.
Sep 15 2010 10:57AM Please re-consider allowing pharmacists to have the ability to refer their customers to other pharmacies in case they have a conscientious objection to filling that particular prescription. I find it amazing that we would (as a society) even consider forcing someone to support an issue that is unsavory to them, especially in regards to an issue like life. It is one thing to refuse the filling of a prescription altogether versus encouraging the client to seek the prescription elsewhere due to the pharmacists conscience. To me, this is an issue of respect and rights.
Sep 15 2010 10:57AM The right of Pharmacists and other Medical Providers to determine the goods and services according to their conscience MUST be protected in the State of Washington. The idea that the State Government (or any agency of Local, State, or Federal Government) should have the authority to force any proprietor to violate his or her consceince in the marketplace is profoundly un-American. The Washington Board of Pharmacy must provide a way for providers to act within the constrictions of conscience.
Sep 15 2010 11:01AM
Sep 15 2010 11:05AM The rules should be revised to allow full conscience rights. Pharmacies and pharmacists should not be required to stock or dispense Plan B and should not be required to refer. There has not been a single documented case in which a person has been unable to obtain Plan B in a timely fashion. The proponents of the anti-conscience position have ginned up a "problem" where none exists, apparently because they can't stand the thought that a patient might be slightly inconvenienced. Or maybe because they have an aversion to religion. The unconstitutional anti-conscience rule has already cost the State tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars to defend. For what? To "solve" a problem contrived by Planned Parenthood, NARAL and their lapdog, Chris Gregoire. Enough! And please, don't give me that but-what-about-those-poor-women-in-rural areas argument. Plan B is readily available in all areas of Washington and on the Internet.
Sep 15 2010 11:06AM The right and duty to act according to our conscience is a foundational principle of liberty. A society that denies individuals the right to act in accord with their conscience, being forced to either violate one's conscience or abandon one's livelihood is an act of oppression and discrimination. This issue is not about access to medications but about a pro-abortion agenda. If it was about access to medications, why are we not ensuring that every pharmacy stocks the medication that I prescribe? For example, every year many children are diagnosed with croup and the usual treatment is a dose of dexamethasone to decrease inflammation, however, not every pharmacy carries the intensol solution that I prescribe. That is just one example.
Sep 15 2010 11:07AM Hello, I am concerned that the Board Of Pharmacy is revisiting the isue of pharmacists' rights to refuse to fill certain medications because of their personal or ideological beliefs. Pharmacists simply do not have the right to interfere with medications sought by women or men. Their job is simply to fill medical prescriptions, and nothing else. How they personally feel about anything, frankly, is irrelevant to the care they provide. If they feel they cannot fill a prescription, then perhaps they are in the wrong line of work. Thank you, Shauna Rumsey
Sep 15 2010 11:17AM
Sep 15 2010 11:18AM Please ammend the rules prohibiting providers from referring patients to nearby providers when the providers have a conscientious objection to dispensing the Plan B or Ella drugs. Rules like this take away the fundamental right of these providers to practice their religious beliefs as guaranteed under the Constitution of the United States.
Sep 15 2010 11:21AM If conscientious objection could excuse people asked to serve in fighting the war in Viet Nam (the draft), then certainly they can use this as a reason to not provide a drug that goes against their conscience to prescribe.
Sep 15 2010 11:23AM The Board is considering amending the anti-conscience regulations to allow providers to refer patients to nearby providers if they have a conscientious objection to dispensing a drug. I support this change in the law.
Sep 15 2010 11:38AM I strongly concur with the Pharmacy Board's amendment to the anti-conscience rules allowing Pharmacists to refer patients to nearby providers when they have conscience objections to dispensing certain drugs.
Sep 15 2010 11:48AM The "democracy" argument applies here.... The Pharmacist has a right to refuse to dispense one drug (out of the hundreds they do provide) that they feel is dangerous, just as much as the patient has the right to obtain it. There'll be numerous drug stores where the prescription can be filled. The patient won't be without sources.
Sep 15 2010 12:26PM Please allow pharmacists the freedom to decide for themselves whether they will participate in actions which terminate or harm human life. Medical personnel take seriously their pledges to do no harm.
Sep 15 2010 12:28PM
Sep 15 2010 12:29PM We live in a nation that was founded on principals of freedom, which includes freedom of conscience. We also have a preponderance of pharmacies. I have at least 6 pharmacies within 5 minutes of my home. Pharmacists must have the right to decide what to sell within their own business. There is no justification for requiring a pharmacist, or any businessman, to provide products that are available within a few blocks of his/her location. If pharmacists refuse to stock certain products that doctors regularly prescribe, the doctors will know and tell patients which pharmacies to avoid. Abortifacients are rarely, if ever, emergency medication where the life of an adult is dependent on the supply of the chemical. It is disengenuous for groups who call themselve "pro-choice" to demand that choice be removed from businessmen of conscience. America's prosperity is the result of its freedom, largely the freedom to own property and conduct business as we see fit. If that is taken away, and it is eroding quickly, our prosperity will go with it. Give pharmacists the same right to choice that you demand in your own lives. This is not a matter of withholding something from someone, another avenue will present itself. That's how America works.
Sep 15 2010 12:57PM A society that denies individuals the right to act in accord with their conscience, forces individuals to either violate their conscience or abandon their livelihood, is an act of oppression. The right and duty to act according to one’s conscience is a foundational principle of liberty.
Sep 15 2010 1:12PM I am a liberal clergyman in a conservative denomination. I have no personal objection to the use of "morning-after" contraception. However, I strongly support a provision that allows pharmacists and pharmacies with conscientious objections to these drugs to refer people seeking these drugs to other sources as long as such sources are reasonably convenient.
Sep 15 2010 1:17PM Our country has the freedom of religion and speech given to all citizens and residents. Business owners should not be forced to violate their conscience/religion. They therefore have the right to refer patients to nearby providers if they have a conscientious objection to dispensing a drug. This is also to show tolerance to all religions. Christianity should not be discriminated.
Sep 15 2010 1:23PM I definitely support a Pharmacist's right of conscience.
Sep 15 2010 1:47PM I believe Pharmacists should have the right to choose not to dispense the Morning after pill, Plan B, based on their religious convictions. If that means they have to provide a referral, then so be it. But, under no circumstances should they be required to dispense something that takes the life of an unborn child.
Sep 15 2010 1:54PM
Sep 15 2010 2:00PM I believe the Board of Pharmacy should compel all Washington pharmacies to provide full access to all medications prescribed by medical professionals. Access by patients is critical and should be mandated by the Board. Pharmacies and pharmacists should not be allowed to pick and choose which medications they will and will not carry, based on their beliefs and/or prejudices. They are there to provide medications in a safe non judgemental environment.
Sep 15 2010 2:18PM
Sep 15 2010 2:21PM I support the conscience right of pharmacists to not dispense any medicine that would violate their moral standards.
Sep 15 2010 2:27PM
Sep 15 2010 2:39PM This as a First Amendment to the US Constitution issue.
Sep 15 2010 2:57PM
Sep 15 2010 3:06PM I believe it is a violation of the freedom of religion to require a pharmacist to prescribe a medication that he/she believes goes against what he believes. He should be able to refer the person to another pharmacy to be helped. They are not being denied their rights, simply allowing the pharmacist the right of religious belief.
Sep 15 2010 3:52PM
Sep 15 2010 3:55PM Another back door by the board to mandate Pharmacists to abandon their morals. Furnish Pharmacist with a handout where the abortion pills are given out without the moral objection to infanticide. Period. Do not make pharmacist fill out any "referral" or anything that identifies them as conscientious objectors to this. We continue to go down hill when the state forces a mandatory requirement to make anyone do anything against their morals. Make the ones wanting to support infanticide to put their names on a paper or put a sign in their window so I do not have to go to them! Do you want me to die or get sick because I have no moral pharmacist to go to????
Sep 15 2010 4:06PM People must have the freedom to vote their conscience and religion rather than be required by the State to perform hated acts. To be forced to do them on pain of fine or imprisonment would result in their having to leave their trained profession and take up a new profession just so a voting majority can be convenienced.
Sep 15 2010 4:24PM Please protect the rights of conscience.
Sep 15 2010 4:29PM Americans insist on all sorts of rights--rights to housing, jobs, decent medical care, and organized interests (i.e., unions). They mustn't be denied the most fundamental of human rights. That said, even the world community agrees "everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion ... and to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship, and observance" (Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights). If, indeed, this is an universally agreed upon premise, as most agree it is, then we must zealously uphold it, even in the marketplace. On a practical level, it stands to reason that a private business should be free to choose its own inventory. A customer can always take his business elsewhere. It's America after all; most live within reasonable walking (or biking) distance from a neighborhood pharmacy. Moreover, referring patients to nearby providers for early abortifacients, as Plan B or Ella, puts no patient at risk--nor is anyone forced to relinquish their religious convictions and/or conscience. Consider this: When Oregon legalized physician-assisted suicide, health care workers could opt out. Why deny private business owners the same? Unlike a "death with dignity" participant, a life in the womb has no voice and, therefore, is not a willing participant in the managed death option being imposed. Denying conscience in support of that life--this, in deference to a customer's convenience--undermines human dignity and violates principles of "life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness [for the unborn]." In America, folks are free to agree or disagree with my convictions, but it's simply not acceptable to deny me (or anyone) the right to voice and practice them. Please stand up for the right to conscience over convenience. Thank you.
Sep 15 2010 5:22PM For the Pharmacy Board, regarding the rules to allow pharmacists to opt out of dispensing Plan B or other medicactions that the pharmacist objects to on personal ethical grounds. It is critical that we as a State and a Nation respect the personal conscience of the citizen. This respect is the basis of our freedom. The primary characteristic of the totalitarian governments is their disregard for the conscience rights of their citizens. The pharmacy Board must respect the freedom of conscience of the individual pharmacist in drafting their rules for the dispensing of medications. If not, then the government is one step closer to oppression of its citizens. It has implications for me as a physician, because if the precedent is set that the government can overrule one's personal conscience, then I may be forced someday to euthanize my patients for cost reasons, or kill babies in the womb for the convenience of the mother or father, or perform other medical procedures that offend my conscience or quit medicine altogether. This is government oppression at its worst and can only lead to a mass exodus from medical practice of a great number of physicians. Please respect the individual conscience of the pharmacist in drafting these new rules. Thank you.
Sep 15 2010 5:53PM I strongly support the right for pharmacist to not prescribe a drug that violates their conscience, especially in regards to a drug that many perceive as taking a life. Pregnancy is not an illness. This drug is available in many places and referring a customer to another location hardly seems like a violation of rights. If this were China or Russia the pharmacists would have no choice. What's next forcing doctors to perform abortions or lose their licence? thank you,
Sep 15 2010 6:39PM Why should a woman have the right to choose to have an abortion, but a pharmacist not have the right to refuse to dispense a morning after pill if it goes against their personal religious belief? The right to freedom of religion should not be dependent or determined by a person's occupation. A pharmacist should be able to refer a patient to another practitioner if dispensing the morning after pill conflicts with their personal religious belief? To require a person to violate their religious belief is unAmerican.The right to freedom of religion should not be conditional or compromised.
Sep 15 2010 7:48PM Please do not try to force pharmacists to violate their conscience and morals by having yet another governmental regulation to determine what they should believe and force them to dispense products they believe are meant to take life not treat illness.
Sep 15 2010 8:18PM
Sep 15 2010 8:19PM Providers including Pharmacists should be allowed to refer patients to nearby providers if they have a conscientious objection to dispensing a drug.
Sep 15 2010 8:41PM Please protect the right of conscience for pharmacists and pharmacies. Wayne Lawson
Sep 15 2010 8:47PM
Sep 15 2010 8:58PM To Whom It May Concern, I concur with the Pharmacy Board officially revisiting and reconsidering the rules it passed a few years ago that were so incredibly off-kilter and ignorant of our shared liberties and the right to act according to ones own conscience. A privately owned and operated business has every right to choose whether it will sell or not sell a particular product. If folks don't like what a store or pharmacy sells or doesn't sell, they also have the freedom to shop somewhere else. That is the way the free market works. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Sep 15 2010 9:26PM
Sep 15 2010 9:50PM Please protect pharmacists' rights to follow their own conscience & do not force them to take actions that violate their conscience. Thank you.
Sep 16 2010 12:39AM We believe that all persons should not be denied their right of conscience and therefore that you should not punish those who cannot dispense drugs they consider death-dealing.
Sep 16 2010 7:58AM
Sep 16 2010 9:43AM Dear Pharmacy Board, We continually hear about a woman’s right to chose, but now that same right of choice is being taken away for those in the pharmaceutical profession. Many today believe that the abortion of an unborn child in their mother’s womb is the taking of a human life. This belief is substantiated by all known scientific data. Whether that life is taken by surgical abortion or the Plan B (morning after pill) the intent and result is the same. Pharmacist or pharmacies who believe that the premeditative taking of an unborn baby’s life is wrong, should not be forced to provide the implements to do so, any more than a physician or private hospital should be forced to provide an abortion. Forcing pharmacist to violate their conscience and be required under penalty of law to do so would be equivalent to Nazi soldiers being forced to kill Jews during World War II. Please allow pharmacist and private pharmacies to uphold their right of conscience and choice by allowing them to refer those wanting such pharmaceuticals to other dispensing pharmacies. Thank You for your consideration, Pastor Randy Leskovar
Sep 16 2010 9:55AM
Sep 16 2010 10:00AM I concur with the Pharmacy Board's amendment to the anti-conscience rules. I want providers to be allowed to refer patients to nearby providers if they have a conscientious objection to dispensing a drug.
Sep 16 2010 10:02AM It is reassuring that the Board would soberly re-open the rulemaking process to at least consider (!)an unambiguous clause for those who in conscience cannot dispense Plan B (the morning after pill)which terminates an independent human life -- a human being with potential, not a potential human being. The immediate issue before the Board, however, is two-fold. It is both the personal responsibility and (therefore)the personal right even today to act according to a well-formed conscience. History is on the side of such liberty of conscience, as it could have been in 1940s Germany if there had been an organized affirmation of human life to challenge the crematory march of events.
Sep 16 2010 10:19AM Pharmacists should be able to CHOOSE what they carry in their pharmacy. When I worked in a private pharmacy, my boss chose to stop carrying a certain drug that left him vulnerable to crime (we were robbed at gunpoint twice while I was there). Pharmacists, as other business persons and even private medical practitioners, need to be allowed to decide how to run their businesses.
Sep 16 2010 12:12PM re: Pharmacist's Right of Conscience. The Board's position, within this posting, is not clear; however, there is a presumption that there is a rational movements towards allowing pharmacists to NOT dispense abortifacients (such as Plan B and Ella) in concert with a referral to a pharmacy that does dispense. There is, of course, some precedent relative to this issue of religious freedom. For many, many years now we have allowed people to invoke their religious beliefs to abstain from military service/assignments that would place them in a position of directly taking the life of another person (conscientious objection). For many christians of other beliefs this is equally, if not more so, applicable to directly assisting in the taking of life through abortion. For the state to mandate pharmacists deny their religious belief (faith)by forcing them to dispense aborficients is nothing short of draconian. I prayerfully encourage the Board to revisit and revise this rule. Contrary to the Governor's previous actions, it is most important that the Board represent the best interests of the people of the State of Washington and the right to practice our freedom of religion. I encourage you to allow pharmacists to refuse to dispense abortifacients while recognizing the patients right to referral to a pharmacy that can and will dispense. Thank you for your consideration.
Sep 16 2010 12:31PM I concur with the Pharmacy Board's proposed amendment to the anti-conscience rules to allow providers to refer patients to nearby providers if they have a conscientious objection to dispensing a drug. This is a reasonable measure that provides for the patients needs with minimal inconvenience while not infringing on the rights of the provider. I strongly recommend the board approve the amendment as currently proposed.
Sep 16 2010 12:42PM Please do not force pharmacists to go against their conscience! How dare the governor force your board to vote her way. Please stand up for what is right and not give into big government!
Sep 16 2010 1:41PM Even in the military conscientious objection is honored. Surely in the marketplace it should also be respected and permitted without punishment, harassment or loss of employment.
Sep 16 2010 1:58PM I am commenting due to concerns regarding pharmacists personal beliefs creating any kind of a barrier to patients getting lawfully prescribed medications. If Washington State allows pharmacists to refuse to fill a certain medication due to their personal beliefs, it has the potential and great likelihood of undue harm to the patient. Potential harm by allowing pharmacists to choose what prescriptions they would fill depending on their belief system can take many different forms. It can prevent patients from obtaining medication at all or in a timely fashion. The pharmacist may communicate either verbally or non-verbally judgement and contempt for the patient and the dilemma or medical problem they are in. What if some pharmacist who happens to be a Scientologist either judges or tries to convince a patient not to fill a medication for her post-partum depression. That would be the case if Tom Cruise was a pharmacist under the right of consciousness to not fill a prescription, and Brooke Shields was taking in her prescription to initiate treatment. It could be that she was so shamed by the process, and it brought up some of her own ambivalence, and she did not get treated. Well with post-partum depression, that could cause significant harm to a baby/child and/or the mother. What if Andrea Yates was filling a prescription for an atypical antipsychotic and a pharmacist shames her or criticizes the overuse of that class of drugs and then it deterred her away from receiving treatment. there are enough barriers to patients filling lawfully prescribed medications that they would benefit for. We do not need to add to the barriers by allowing a pharmacist's personal belief system to inflict any delay or judgement on a patient. As a prescribing nurse practitioner in Washington, I appreciate the services that pharmacists provide. But I do not believe they know enough about the patient nor should have the right to limit access to treatment for any patient. If the Board of Pharmacy wanted to allow somekind of specific right of conscience for pharmacists, the pharmacists should have to declare specifically what they refuse to do- ie morning after pill, RU 486, antidepressants, stimulants, and then the pharmacy will need to make sure at any time that pharmacist does work alone, and they they will have another pharmacist on staff who will fill the prescription. THE PATIENT'S RIGHTS OVER-RIDE THE PHARMACIST'S BELIEFS. There will be more harm to a patient who cannot obtain their medication in a timely way without any hint of judgement, than actual harm to the pharmacist for allowing someone else their legal right. Pacifists have to pay their taxes and cannot say they do not want their tax money to go to a war they do not believe in. Sometimes our responsibility requires that we do something that we would rather not do. Nurses cannot decide who they will do CPR on depending on how they value the life of that patient, or the choices that patient makes. I truly believe pharmacists need to dispense meds and leave their personal beliefs out of it. If they cannot do that they should find employment in a different setting that will not challenge their beliefs.
Sep 16 2010 2:43PM We have the 1st amendment in this country so we can voice our opinions and our beliefs. If we are not allowed to act upon those opinions and beliefs then we might as well keep our mouths shut and get in line with the other sheep heading towards the slaughter. Being forced to act against our religious and moral beliefs is just one more step towards total government control of our minds and bodies. What's next, forced sterilization if we want to have more than 2 children? There is no place for this kind of control in the United States. Those who support this kind of legislation are heading us towards a communist controlled society. Those of us who actually have a moral compass need to stand up for what is morally right, not politically correct. Political correctness is an illusion and a smoke screen for the moral degradation in our country.
Sep 16 2010 3:00PM Please amend the rules to protect conscience rights for pharmacists. Protecting this freedom protects the right to conscience for all people. It is a small inconvenience for a patient to have to locate a pharmacy with emergency contraception, go to Planned Parenthood or receive it at the Dr. office. It is unreasonable to require a drug store to stock or a pharmacist to dispense something that violates deeply held religious beliefs regarding life. Pharmacists are professionals trained to use their skills to protect life so don't require them to be involved with medication which is only used to end life if their conscience will not allow it.
Sep 16 2010 3:28PM It seems very reasonable that pharmacy staff be able refer customers under this provision to another pharmacy to obtain the medication, thus maintaining the integrity of deeply held beliefs. I urge you to make sure this option remains in place.
Sep 16 2010 3:57PM I am opposed to any amendment that will allow pharmacies to refuse to fill patients' prescriptions and send patients to another pharmacy no matter how far they might have to travel. Such rules will harm patients who are poor, lack transportation, are in isolated areas, have disabilities, have suffered a trauma and whose insurance is not transferable. Washington State is obligated to ensure that all patients get the health care they need from doctors, nurses and pharmacists. I support the existing Board of Pharmacy Rule, enacted under the leadership of the Board of Pharmacy and Governor Gregoire in 2007, that requires pharmacies to dispense patients' medications on site and in a timely manner. It is a balanced rule that makes sure patient needs come first but also respects the personal beliefs of individual pharmacists. It's important to keep the existing pharmacy rule intact to protect people's access to legal medications without prejudice, discrimination or delay.
Sep 16 2010 5:36PM Pharmacists have a professional, ethical and moral obligation to FILL ALL PRESCRIPTIONS that are to presented to them. Being referred to another pharmacy is impractical for most people and is also humiliating. It is NOT A CRIME to have a prescription for Plan B or contraceptive pills/devices. Please do not treat patients as if they are doing something wrong in going to their pharmacy for legal medication. If a pharmacist can't perform his/her duties in a professional setting, then they need to find a profession or setting where their ethical and moral beliefs won't interfere with a patient's right to medication. Thank you for your consideration of my comments.
Sep 16 2010 5:52PM Pharmacists should fill any and all legal prescriptions, period. No one should have to go to another pharmacy to get a prescription filled - especially in small towns or rural communities, that presents an undue hardship. Honestly, I don't get why any pharmacist should refuse to fill a prescription for a patient unless they have evidence of fraud or know of some medical reason (such as a contraindication with another medication) why the prescription would be harmful to the patient. "Moral" objections have no place in a pharmacist's job description. And they're especially distasteful and abhorrent when they are present in the case of a woman who's been sexually assaulted.
Sep 16 2010 6:36PM I firmly believe all businesses operating as pharmacies should be required to fill any and all lawful prescriptions presented to them.
Sep 16 2010 6:47PM I feel very stongly about letting a pharmaicist do their job, as a pharmacist NOT A DOCTOR which prescribes medicastions. The pharmicist has NO RIGHT to refuse a prescription given to her by her doctor after the DOCTOR has determined that the medication is necessary. A PHARMACIST IS NOT A DOCTOR and may not legally make a determination that a woman should not receive a medication prescribed to er. It's outrageous!
Sep 16 2010 7:51PM Patients should not have to go to a second pharmacy to get a prescription filled. The physician and the patient must decide what is best for that patient. It is not the pharmacist's role to interfere in that relationship. Please continue to make all prescriptions available at all pharmacies.
Sep 16 2010 8:04PM If the Pharmacy Board is genuinely concerned about the pharmacist's right to exercise his or her conscience, it should bear in mind that many pharmacists feel it is their responsibility to serve the health care needs of their customers; to allow a pharmacy owner's policy to thwart them in that aim is to fail to protect the pharmacist's as well as the patient's rights. In July 2006, I presented a prescription for Plan B at Ralph's pharmacy, the pharmacy owned by Stormans, Inc. The managing pharmacist at that time, Stan Berdinka, was very concerned and apologetic that he was not able to fill my prescription. He explained that it was the pharmacy owner's policy not to stock Plan B, and that he had not been consulted about this policy. Clearly, this pharmacist was committed to meeting the health care needs of pharmacy customers. He was conscientious in his approach to his job. Yet he was not able to fulfill his professional responsibilities in the manner he would have liked. I suspect that most pharmacists, given that they have been extensively educated in the sciences, are not persuaded by unsubstantiated arguments about emergency contraception "destroying human life," and do not feel that dispensing Plan B violates their moral principles. How can the Pharmacy Board ensure the ability of these pharmacists to perform their job conscientiously, in the face of pharmacy owners who may have mistaken notions about how Plan B works and a desire to intervene in the birth control choices of their customers? Whose conscience counts?
Sep 16 2010 8:14PM I defend the rights of pharmacists who do not support the morning after pill to practice their trade according to their conscience. There are plenty of alternatives for people to get this pill without forcing all pharmacists to administer it. This position is equivalent to requiring all physicians to perform abortions. This regulation also puts the state in the position of determining what businesses must stock and sell.
Sep 16 2010 9:12PM Dear Board Members, I respectfully challenge each one of you on your commitment to your own Vision Statement, "The Washington State Pharmacy Association vision is to be the most progressive, representative, and effectively managed state pharmacy organization in the United States". Pharmacy refusals are unconstitutional, and unfairly discriminate against women and are a violation of your own vision statement. There is a reason we have a separation of church and state, and it is to prevent individuals from making moral judgments against others. I believe that if the leadership within the Pharmacy Association is unable to lead members in a law abiding manner, without bias toward females patients, then they must be encouraged to offer their resignation immediately. Respectfully yours, Mona Baghdadi
Sep 16 2010 9:19PM It is unconsciousible to me to force a pharmacist to violate their consciences forcing them to provide product or services they find morally repugnant. This is especially true when a client referral can be made to another business that will comply with the clients requests. I urge you to provide this rule to allow pharmacists to follow their principles.
Sep 16 2010 9:27PM The belief that there is no harm done to a patient by refusing to fulfill a prescription because another pharmacy is able to fill that prescription does not account for basic realities. Individuals have busy schedules and many demands on their time; imagine being a single working mother juggling two part-time jobs and the various school-related activities of three children, and getting to one pharmacy within a rare 15 minute window of free time, only be denied getting the prescription?! There are also many individuals who have economic-related constraints on their ability to travel; imagine having to take two different buses to one pharmacy, and being told that you need to go to a second pharmacy in order to get your prescription, which is not directly on a bus line or there are no more buses running on that route for the day. These extreme inconveniences result in delays that could effectively prohibit the patient from getting the prescription filled at all. This is not just. A patient and her doctor should be able to determine what is best for the patient's health; a pharmacist's personal opinion should not be able to interfere with an individual's right to determine what is in her own best interests.
Sep 16 2010 9:43PM I believe no law, code, or any other mandate with the force of law requiring a person to violate their own conscience should ever be considered, let alone enacted.
Sep 16 2010 10:23PM Please respect the choices made by doctors as to the best treatment for their patients and the rights of those patients to receive in a timely manner, the drugs prescribed.
Sep 16 2010 10:27PM Pharmacists should not impose their personal beliefs on the patients who need prescriptions filled--for drugs that are necessary to their health, legally prescribed by their physician. A pharmacist's refusal to provide healthcare – even accompanied by a referral to a different pharmacy - will harm many patients, especially those who live in isolated areas, have disabilities, have suffered from sexual assault or other trauma, or whose insurance is not transferable. They may also harm patients who have limited English proficiency or who lack transportation or the mobility to get to another pharmacy. It is especially important for patients who need time-sensitive drugs to get their medications on site and on time. Thank you for your attention to this important matter.
Sep 16 2010 10:55PM Please protect the right of conscience. Allow all to have the right to one's conscience, this is a basic principle of liberty. thank you!
Sep 16 2010 11:25PM As an American who holds the U.S. and State Constitutions with very high regard, and as one who is very grateful for the freedoms and protections of the civil liberties guaranteed therein, I must say that if the legal authorities of our nation cannot protect our citizens' rights of personal conscience, then what else is American all about? Throughout these precious documents it is very clear...our U.S. government was made to protect the people from abuse from itself. To arm twist citizens to dispense pills that not only kill fellow humans but might incurr legal liabilities to the dispenser, is absolutely unconscienable. We citizens very much appreciate your reconsideration of this very important issue. Please do protect the right to conscience--free from government harrassment--of every American.
Sep 17 2010 12:49AM It is the job of licensed pharmacists to provide timely needed legal medication when requested, just as it is the job of emergency room personnel to provide timely needed legal medical care when requested. If they refuse to do so for any reason, then they should not be licensed by the state, which represents the interests of all citizens. Those harmed most by the exception at issue are the vulnerable, the at-risk, the poor, the rural residents, the victims of assault. There is no reasonable excuse for this practice.
Sep 17 2010 1:04AM It is incomprehensible to me that our government would force any citizen to provide services which conflict violently against their conscience. It is hoped we are still under the Constitution of the United States which allows freedom of religion,and therefore, freedom of conscience,including freedom of speech. I shudder to think where our future will lead, should our government start playing dictator, eliminating our freedoms which we have exercised since our founding. It is beyond reasonable not to allow a pharmacist to refer a customer to another pharmacy which is not bothered by their conscience to distribute abortion-producing drugs. It is indeed harassment, in fact, and unsupportable under our Constitution. Thank you for allowing and considering my comments.
Sep 17 2010 2:46AM Patients must have firstt pharmacy access for all lawfully written prescriptions.
Sep 17 2010 2:48AM Patients must have first pharmacy access for all lawfully written prescriptions.
Sep 17 2010 4:50AM I support the right of pharmacists to not sell any product they do not want to sell. It seems to me a violation of our rights of free speach to force us to do anything, though a legal act, which we disagree with. By selling anything the seller is silently endorsing it as acceptable to the public. There are laws that restrict what can be sold, but a law that forces someone to sell something he believes is bad for the pubic is a violation of his personal right to free speach. The fact a pharmacist is licensed by the state does not override this right. Thomas Harmer Kenmore, WA
Sep 17 2010 5:03AM Dear Board of Pharmacy: Thank you for revisiting the rules regarding protecting the right of conscience for pharmacists. Please re-write the rules to fully protect pharmacists and pharmacy owners' right of conscience. If we create a society in which an individual is forced to either violate their conscience OR abandon their livelihood, we have created an oppressive society that has severely limited our individual liberties and freedoms in exchange for government mandates. Thank you for your consideration.
Sep 17 2010 6:29AM First, pregnancy is never an emergency, nor is it an illness. It is unconsionable to require pharmacists, or any health care worker, to violate deeply held moral and religious beliefs in order to prevent or abort a pregnancy. There are more than enough pharmacies that have employees willing to do that that forcing many out of their profession is copmpletely unnecessary. And it is wrong! R. L Johnson Kirkland, WA
Sep 17 2010 7:06AM Thank you for revisiting this. I urge you...please protect the rights of conscience for our pharmacists.
Sep 17 2010 7:39AM I believe it is essential that patients have timely and respectful access to their medications. My sister, though not living in a rural area, English is her first and only language (populations often cited as being most impacted by limited access) is the type of patient that if she were refused to have her prescription filled would simply go home. Her pain level and depression would make it untenable for her to go elsewhere. Thank you.
Sep 17 2010 8:37AM I want them to continue to protect patients’ access to lawfully prescribed medication. Individuals should not be allowed to decide which prescription they want to fill. If it is a legal medication, a customer should be able to obtain that from any pharmacy. If not, it should be available over the counter. lori
Sep 17 2010 9:20AM I would rather, the board continue to protect patients’ access to lawfully prescribed medication.
Sep 17 2010 9:38AM It is imperative that women be able to fill a RX at ANY pharmacy.When we lived in OR, my docs ofice had what I needed on hand, and jsut beign able to run over and start taking it made a huge difference in the direction of my life. It is not for anyone to judge what my doctor and I decide, and a delay coudl end up beign life threatening or traumaic at the least. Thank you
Sep 17 2010 9:44AM Pharmacists are important members of the health care delivery system. I rely on them to counsel me, inform me of possible drug interaction or side effects, and look out for my health and safety. That does NOT mean they should be able to prevent me from getting my prescription filled or lie to me about whether a drug is in stock. If they have moral qualms about particular drugs, they should not have become pharmacists. They have an ethical duty to meet all patients' needs, and cannot be allowed to pick and choose what service they provide. I read that one doctor said this is a question of patients' convenience versus the pharmacist's belief. Well, I am a patient, and the pharmacist owes me (and my doctor) respect and non-judgmental filling of my prescription. Besides, who is that doctor or pharmacist to say what my "convenience" is? It's my need, and my right.
Sep 17 2010 9:56AM I feel strongly that pharmacies should return to the rules enacted in 2007. Every patient has a right to the health care determined by his or her physician, and denying or delaying filling prescriptions can endanger patient health. This is particularly true for those most in need, such as those with limited resources to locate or travel to another pharmacy, those with limited English skills who might misunderstand a refusal to fill a prescription, and those needing time-sensitive medications. By living as citizens of this country we agree to abide by its laws, and denying a citizen a lawfully prescribed medication is unjust. I would not knowingly patronize a pharmacy that denied patients their prescribed medications. Thank you for considering these issues.
Sep 17 2010 10:33AM I support the amendment to the anti-conscience rules allowing pharmacists and pharmacies to refer patients to nearby providers when the provider has a conscientious objection to the drug requested.
Sep 17 2010 10:34AM Please allow pharmacists and pharmacies to have the right of conscience and that they can refer patients to go to nearby providers to fill a morning after drug prescription. So please reverse the present regulations concerning this matter. Dr. Clarke Aaronson
Sep 17 2010 11:52AM There is no sensible or defensible reason to allow pharmacies to refuse to provide legally prescribed medications. The harms are tremendous and without reason. Medicine and healthcare should not be political.
Sep 17 2010 11:58AM I agree with board ammending rules to allow retailers of conscience to refer shoppers to other retailers who sell a product they (buyer) want.
Sep 17 2010 12:26PM It is crucial that patients continue to have access to lawfully prescribed medications. As a physician, I find it unacceptable for a pharmacy to inhibit a patient's ability to access a necessary medication. Please keep the existing rule. Thank you.
Sep 17 2010 1:04PM
Sep 17 2010 2:26PM This thing needs to be amended so people have a right to concience
Sep 17 2010 8:17PM A pharmacist should have the right to decide not to fill a prescription handed to her/him. NOTE: After reading the information provided on-line, it is not clear to me whether this constitutes concurrence or non-concurrence with the proposed rule change. The situation addressed in the pertinent rules is a conflict between the rights of the pharmacist and those of the patient. It is not possible to fully honor the rights of both. However, the rule of proportionality favors the pharmacist. Forcing the pharmacist to fill the prescription in violation of personal beliefs has no remedy. Violation of the pharmacist's rights cannot be undone. In contrast, the denial of the patient's rights can be remedied as the patient can access another provider to have the prescription filled. Two additional comments: First, in reviewing the revised Pharmacist Oath adopted by the AACP House of Delegates in July 2007 and approved by the American Pharmacists Association, I find no conclusive statement that resolves the issue in favor of either party. Secondly, the comment submitted on Aug 20th at 8:21AM on behalf of Cedar River Clinics points out an important consideration. It is reasonable to expect that a pharmacist will be consistent in her/his actions. If a pharmacist refuses to fill a prescription for a given medication, she/he should be required to refuse to fill such prescriptions for all patients. Conversely, if she/he fills a prescription for a medication, she/he should do so for all patients regardless of the circumstances that precipitated the need for the medication. To do otherwise would be capricious and discriminatory.
Sep 17 2010 11:01PM Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the stated rules. I support the idea of allowing choice on both sides of the counter if alternatives exist. Specific medications have less criticality and therefore allow flexibility in sales.
Sep 18 2010 9:49AM I absolutely do not support this possible amendment. I do NOT think it will improve access to prescriptions for women seeking Plan B. I think it is the easy way out for pharmacy owners with a religious bias to not carry Plan B despite the fact that they are licensed as a PUBLIC pharmacy. It is not easy for a woman without a vehicle to transport herself and possible family members (children in particular) to another location if the first pharmacy she approaches refers her elsewhere. Have you ever tried to carry two toddlers on a public bus--if it even goes close to where this referral is? In some areas, especially rural ones, there may not be a convenient pharmacy for 50 or 100 miles. How is the patient then to get the medication she wanted? This seems to me to be a discriminatory policy against women who choose, as is their right, to use Plan B. It puts the rights of an "owner" over those of a patient in a situation of a publicly licensed facility whose mandate is to serve the medical needs of the public. Are we "selling" rights these days in Washington? That is what it amounts to. Should CR101 be approved, it is tantamount to saying you can own a public pharmacy and ignore the civil rights of women and others. CR101 should not be added to the pharmacy board policy concerning patients’ ability to be served at a licensed pharmacy, no matter what the owner's religious beliefs are. This is a clear case where the rights of patients (and make no mistake, this is targeting women) must be upheld and CR101 not approved.
Sep 18 2010 11:13AM I am writing in support of keeping the rule that requires pharmacies to dispense legally prescribed medications. I do not support changing the rule so that a pharmacist who does not agree with the morning after pill on moral grounds can refuse to fill a legally presribed prescription. Pharmacies are in the business to fill presriptions and dispense medicines and pharmacists must fullfill this job duty. Pharmacists must not have the authority to determine which prescitpions they will fill or not fill.
Sep 18 2010 11:28AM I urge you to rewrite your rules to allow a pharmacist's right to conscience. A rule allowing facilitated referrals would be an improvement over what now exists, where a number of pharmacists are forced to choose between their career or their conscience. Facilitated referrals will respect pharmacists' rights without diminishing patient access to medications. Please amend the current law.
Sep 18 2010 4:26PM I believe the regulations need to be amended to allow pharmacists and pharmacies to be able to exercise their right to conscientiously object to dispensing drugs like Plan B and Ella. I support conscience rights.
Sep 18 2010 10:06PM Refusals to provide healthcare – even accompanied by a referral to a different pharmacy - will harm many patients, especially those who live in isolated areas, have disabilities, have suffered from sexual assault or other trauma, or whose insurance is not transferrable. They may also harm patients who have limited English proficiency or who lack transportation or the mobility to get to another pharmacy. It is especially important for patients who need time-sensitive drugs to get their medications on site and on time. It is always better to be served at the pharmacy instead of being referred to a different pharmacy. Please continue to protect patients’ access to lawfully prescribed medication.
Sep 19 2010 4:52PM Please protect the rights of conscience for pharmacists and pharmacy owners. Thank you.
Sep 19 2010 6:47PM It seems strange that people who most protest against any health care provider’s right of conscience are the very ones who demand imposing their own private morality on others. The state pharmacy board should rule in favor of pharmacists not being required to violate their conscience rights in dispensing “emergency” contraceptives.
Sep 19 2010 7:53PM My name is David Greenberg, and I am the CEO of Planned Parenthood of Columbia Willamette (PPCW)responsible for providing family planning services to women in Clark County. I’m writing the Washington State Board of Pharmacy to urge you not to alter WAC 248-869-010 and WAC 246-863-095. All Washingtonians deserve to be able to get the health care they need without undue roadblocks and barriers. It concerns me that the Washington State Board of Pharmacy has initiated steps to change a fair and well-vetted policy that helps ensure patients’ rights are protected. The mission of Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette is to provide, promote, and protect access to sexual and reproductive health care. If a rule is adopted which allows pharmacies to refuse to fill a patient’s prescription because of personal or moral beliefs, it will limit access to health care – an outcome that is in conflict with our mission. Patients in need of time-sensitive medication are put at risk if they are refused service at a pharmacy. Multiple barriers such as lack of transportation, financial concerns, time constraints, fear and embarrassment may prevent patients from trying to get their medication at another pharmacy or from getting it in the time period necessary for it to be effective. These outcomes are not only in opposition to PPCW’s mission, they contradict the mission of the Board of Pharmacy which is “to promote public health and safety”. Most pharmacies and pharmacists are caring professionals who meet critical health care needs every day. However, it is the state of Washington’s job to ensure that all pharmacies and pharmacists licensed in this state are held to the highest standards. The people in Washington agree that patients need access to their time-sensitive medication, and no one should be entitled to put their personal beliefs before a patient’s health care. Every patient deserves to have legal prescriptions provided without discrimination or delay. The Board of Pharmacy should continue to protect patients’ access to the medications they need.
Sep 19 2010 8:02PM I believe the Board of Pharmacy should compel all Washington pharmacies to provide full access to all medications prescribed by medical professionals. Pharmacies and pharmacists should not be allowed to pick and choose which medications they will and will not carry, based on their beliefs and/or prejudices. Where does it stop? Should a pharmacist be allowed refuse to dispense birth control pills for a single woman? Or deny an erectile dysfunction medication for a gay man? The pharmacist should not allow his or her personal beliefs to influence how he dispenses drugs because he is making assumptions about the patient with no information. If the patient has a prescription for a legal drug, written by a medical professional, it should be filled because it was deemed MEDICALLY NECESSARY. To deny a patient access to legal medications is discrimination. If a pharmacist is uncomfortable with dispensing prescriptions, perhaps he should find another profession.
Sep 20 2010 8:25AM Practicing Pharmaceutical arts in Washington is a privilege not a right. A rule requiring a Pharmacist to dispense a drug as written by the physician, as presently exist, is essential for the health and safety of the citizens of Washington. If a Pharmacist can't find it within his/her moral boundaries to fill a prescription as written they need to find another job.
Sep 20 2010 8:36AM
Sep 20 2010 8:40AM The State Pharmacy Board, and the governor, should rewrite rules enabling pharmacists to exercise freedom of conscience in filling prescriptions. No health care provider should be compelled to perform an undertaking that would violate their conscience, just because other persons enjoin the undertaking as their personal choice. Thank you for this opportunity to comment.
Sep 20 2010 9:23AM I strongly support the conscience right of pharmacists to not dispense medicines that would violate their morals.
Sep 20 2010 9:42AM Several weeks ago, I sought to have a prescription for my diet filled at a local pharmacy. The pharmacy did not carry the specific medication. Should I insist they stock and dispense the medication, or refer me to a pharmacy that could help me?
Sep 20 2010 11:15AM As a Physical Therapist licensed in the state of Washington, a wife and mother of 6 children, I urge you to protect the conscience rights of my fellow health care professionals, Pharmacists.
Sep 20 2010 12:23PM Please protect the rights of concience! Thank you for understanding how vitally important this is in a FREE country.
Sep 20 2010 1:52PM I think common sense is needed instead of a bunch of political posturing. Not all pharmacies can carry all drugs a client may need. The financial end of trying to do this is unreal, nor is it done in the real world. A large pharmacy I use cannot accomodate every RX I have submitted, but they let me know where I can find it, this has gone on for years. Now the morning after pill a political nightmare has caused a change for very poor reasons and also infringing on a persons conscience to do what is morally wrong to some. Refer to a pharmacy that carries the med and leave the pharmacy who can't afford it or has a conscience objection alone respect everyone.
Sep 20 2010 1:53PM How does it violate a pharmacist's conscience to DISPENSE a drug? No one is forcing anyone to actually TAKE it. I heard of a case in Texas where a bus driver refused to drive a woman to Planned Parenthood, where she may have been scheduled for a Pap smear, for all he knew. Why he thought providing transportation somehow morally implicated him in whatever she was doing at Planned Parenthood baffles me. What's next? Will city maintenance workers refuse to pave roads that women may take en route to purchasing birth control pills? Will craft store cashiers balk at selling knitting needles, for fear they may be used in an illicit abortion? Ibuprofen, parsley, kitty litterboxes, sushi, and paint thinner fumes are among a host of things known to occasionally cause early miscarriage. How in good conscience can ANYONE sell such things? The answer is most reasonable people with an appropriate sense of boundaries rely on their conscience to govern THEIR OWN BEHAVIOR, and have the sense to allow others to do the same. Pharmacists, if you don't approve of the morning after pill, don't take it. Let God deal with the women who make moral choices you wouldn't make yourself; your role is to dispense medications in a manner that is legal and medically appropriate. Judging the moral behavior of others is not YOUR job, and it's certainly not the job of the poorly educated fanatic who happens to have inherited the store.
Sep 20 2010 3:25PM The board needs to revisit their original ruling. Go back to the Freedom of Conscience. We are all clear that the panel's of death; Planned Parenthood and NARAL are behind this. We know they are trying to demand that people, who know this is the killing of a human being, participate in their insane views that the direct destruction of small innocent beings be mandated to individuals who do not want to destroy the innocent. These small innocent beings need to be protected - not destroyed!!! Stop this madness and anger towards the unwanted child!!!!!
Sep 20 2010 3:29PM Please continue to protect patients' rights to lawfully prescribed medications! Make pharmacies fill all prescriptions!
Sep 20 2010 3:37PM
Sep 20 2010 3:38PM I believe the Board of Pharmacy should compel all Washington pharmacies to provide full access to all medications prescribed by medical professionals. Access by all patients is critical and should be mandated by the Board. Pharmacies and pharmacists should not be allowed to pick and choose which medications they will and will not carry, based on their beliefs and/or prejudices.
Sep 20 2010 3:39PM Please, protect the right of patients! I support strong pharmacy access rules in the interest of safety and privacy, and urge you to do the same.
Sep 20 2010 3:42PM All Washington pharmacies should provide full access to all medications that are prescribed. Pharmacists' and pharmacies' values and prejudices should NEVER come into play when it comes to providing medications to patients. Patient access is very critical and should be mandated by the Board, not by the beliefs of those whose job it is to provide important medication and services.
Sep 20 2010 3:42PM I believe the Board of Pharmacy should compel all Washington pharmacies to provide full access to all medications prescribed by medical professionals. Access by patients is critical and should be mandated by the Board. Pharmacies and pharmacists should not be allowed to pick and choose which medications they will and will not carry, based on their beliefs and/or prejudices. Thank you, Natalia Fior
Sep 20 2010 3:44PM Please continue to protect patients' access to lawfully prescribed medication.
Sep 20 2010 3:45PM I ask you to please retain the existing Board of Pharmacy rule. All Washingtonians need to be assured access to legal medications when they need them. Can you imagine being a sexual assault surviver or a person with disabilities who is told they must go elsewhere for the medications they need? People in rural areas may have to travel 40 miles or more! Pharmacists should not be allowed to pick and choose which legal medications they dispense. This decision should be made only by patients and their doctors.
Sep 20 2010 3:51PM I believe the Board of Pharmacy should compel all Washington pharmacies to provide full access to all medications prescribed by medical professionals. Access by patients is critical and should be mandated by the Board. Pharmacies and pharmacists should not be allowed to pick and choose which medications they will and will not carry, based on their beliefs and/or prejudices.
Sep 20 2010 3:55PM "I believe the Board of Pharmacy should compel all Washington pharmacies to provide full access to all medications prescribed by medical professionals. Access by patients is critical and should be mandated by the Board. Pharmacies and pharmacists should not be allowed to pick and choose which medications they will and will not carry, based on their beliefs and/or prejudices."
Sep 20 2010 3:57PM This is ridiculous and wrong--and unprofessional. Pharmacists should not be allowed to pick and choose what medications to dispense based on their personal/moral beliefs. What will be next? Doctors refusing to give childhood vaccinations?
Sep 20 2010 3:58PM Please ensure that everyone has access to ALL medications that are prescribed by medical professionals. The state bestows upon certain persons the right to practice pharmacy in this state through licensing. Those licensed pharmacists serve all persons in this state, not just those they choose to serve. Whether it's birth control or antibiotics, pharmacists should not be able to pick and choose which prescriptions to fill and which prescriptions they will not fill based on their own beliefs or prejudices. Thank you.
Sep 20 2010 3:58PM I thought we had settled this issue in 2007. If pharmacies and pharmacists are licensed by the state, why do they get to pick and choose which medications they disperse to the public? Someone's beliefs should not be a consideration when serving the public. Legitimate prescriptions by legitimate health care providers should be honored without inconveniencing the patient.
Sep 20 2010 4:03PM I believe the Board of Pharmacy should compel all Washington pharmacies to provide full access to all medications prescribed by medical professionals. Access by patients is critical and should be mandated by the Board. Pharmacies and pharmacists should not be allowed to pick and choose which medications they will and will not carry, based on their beliefs and/or prejudices.
Sep 20 2010 4:06PM The Board of Pharmacy should make it mandatory for all Washington pharmacies to provide full access to all medications prescribed by medical professionals. It is essential that all patients have reasonable access to acquiring ANY and ALL medications they are prescribed. Pharmacies and pharmacists should not be allowed to pick and choose which medications they will and will not carry, based on their beliefs and/or prejudices."
Sep 20 2010 4:08PM The Board of Pharmacy should mandate that all Washington pharmacies must provide full access to all medications prescribed by medical professionals. Neither pharmacies nor pharmacists should be empowered to override the medical judgment of a patient's personal physician or judgment of a patient's authorized medical professional. Pharmacies and pharmacists must be precluded from substituting their own personal judgments or imposing their own personal religious beliefs upon a patient. To permit any pharmacy to exercise such unchecked authority over a patient’s right to medical care contravenes that patient's right to legally prescribed medical care.
Sep 20 2010 4:08PM I support open and unrestricted access to contra-ceptive pharmaceuticals. If an individual wishes to be licensed by the State(the people) then they should be required to serve all the people in all ways without imposing their personal restrictions or conditions on who they serve or how they dispense pharmaceuticals. When we the State give them the priveledge of serving the public and making money from it, we expect full fulfillment of that priveledge.
Sep 20 2010 4:09PM The Board of Pharmacy should compel all Washington pharmacies to provide full access to all medications prescribed by medical professionals. Access by patients is critical and should be mandated by the Board. Pharmacies and pharmacists should not be allowed to pick and choose which medications they will and will not carry, based on their beliefs and/or prejudices.
Sep 20 2010 4:14PM Please keep the existing rules in place which require pharmacies to provide full access to all medications regardless of the personal views of pharmacists. They should not be allowed to impose their view of morality on the rest of us.
Sep 20 2010 4:15PM Pharmacies and pharmacists should not be able to prevent patients from accessing the medications they need. Please support the existing rules that ensure patients can gain access to the medications they need!
Sep 20 2010 4:15PM Everyone who comes to a pharmacy with a valid prescription has the right to expect that prescriptions are filled as quickly as possible and as courteously as though the pharmacist was filling them for his/her own family. Imagine the outrage if a thin pharmacist refused to fill a prescription for an obese customer because she/he believed that the customer should have lived a different lifestyle and not gained an excessive amount of weight.
Sep 20 2010 4:17PM A rule stating that pharmacists must dispense all valid prescriptions or medications encourages drug seekers to harass pharmacists into filling questionable prescriptions. I was working in a Federal Way pharmacy one Friday evening when a man presented 4 prescriptions to me. 3 were for antibiotics and 1 was for Percocet, and all 4 were written by the same doctor that day. He told me that he would go shopping and then make a decision about which prescriptions to fill. I told him that was fine as long as he filled at least 1 of the antibiotic prescriptions (because he needed antibiotics for his infection, whereas Percocet is optional). You can guess what happened next. After 15 minutes or so of shopping, he returned to the pharmacy and told the technician that he wanted his Percocet prescription filled, not the antibiotics. When I saw what was happening, I reiterated to him that he had to get at least 1 antibiotic prescription filled. The man ranted and raved that it was his right to treat his infection the way he wanted, and that he wanted to use non-prescription hydrogen peroxide (not good for skin healing) to treat his infection, and that he needed the Percocet to numb the pain, and I had to do whatever he said because STATE LAW SAID PHARMACISTS MUST FILL ALL VALID PRESCRIPTIONS. Furthermore, he was going to call 911 if I didn't fill his Percocet prescription. I, of course, said that his doctor determined his treatment, and if his doctor wrote for antibiotics, he had to get antibiotics, not treat his infection with a product that would inhibit skin healing and cause pain. The man still ranted and raved that he would call 911 if I didn't fill his Percocet prescription, so at this point I called his doctor's offic at about 6:00pm that Friday to clarify which prescriptions his doctor wanted him to get. The doctor's nurse answered the phone and told me that the patient had to get all 3 antibiotics, not just 1, and definitely not just the Percocet. At that point, the man wanted to get the cheapest antibiotic only, but since I was just instructed by the nurse what prescriptions the man needed, I of course told him that he needed to get all 3 antibiotics. At this point, the man indeed called 911, and ranted and raved that the police would throw me in jail. After 20 minutes, the police finally showed up, talked to the man, joked about the situation to me, and got rid of my harasser. To make this long story short, a law that states pharmacists must fill all valid prescriptions is an invitation to drug seekers to harass pharmacists and waste valuable emergency personnel time. In all the time that I had to deal with that man, women needing Plan B or birth control pills could've been too imtimidated by the man screaming at me to come to the pharmacy counter. Other people needing their prescriptions faced the same hostile environment. I would have no trouble with a law that said pharmacists could not use their beliefs to refuse to dispense to women or to other disadvantaged groups. Indeed, if my sister or friend needed Plan B, I would expect that she get it without delay. However, any law that says pharmacists must fill all valid prescriptions is actually denying access to medication every time a drug seeker like the man I faced shows up at the pharmacy.
Sep 20 2010 4:17PM No one should be denied needed medications.
Sep 20 2010 4:19PM As a physician (retired) and as a patient, I feel it is imperative that the Board of Pharmacy continue to protect patients' access to all lawfully prescribed medication. Please keep the existing rules and demonstrate unwavering support for full access at the pharmacy counter. Pharmacies and pharmacists should not be allowed to pick and choose which medications they will and will not carry, based on their beliefs and/or prejudices. That could become a nightmare of confusing and conflicting policies. Keep it clear and simple -- if it is legal and it has been prescribed, it must be dispensed. Thank you.
Sep 20 2010 4:27PM The Board of Pharmacy should most definitely compel all Washington pharmacies to provide full access to all medications prescribed by medical professionals. Access by patients is critical and should be mandated by the Board. Pharmacies and pharmacists should not be allowed to pick and choose which medications they will and will not carry, based on their beliefs and/or prejudices.
Sep 20 2010 4:30PM Pharmacist should be required by law to fill all valid and lawful prescriptions prescribed by a medical provider. The Pharmacy Board should protect patients rights by mandating that pharmacists not pick and choose which prescriptions they fill based on their own personal beliefs.
Sep 20 2010 4:30PM It is critical that the Washington State Department of Health continues to ensure that patients have access to lawfully prescribed medication. Pharmacies and pharmacists should be required to fill prescriptions and not be allowed to choose which medications they will carry based on personal religious or political beliefs or prejudices. Failure to meet these requirements should result in the suspension of the pharmacist's license and the pharmacy condoning such actions should be subject to civil and judicial fines or penalties.
Sep 20 2010 4:36PM The Board of Pharmacy must require that all Washington pharmacies provide 100% access to medications prescribed by their doctor(s). Pharmacies and pharmacists can not be allowed to discriminate as to which prescriptions they will and will not fill. Please do not allow them to effectively interfere with the doctor client relationship by applying their morale judgment to someone else's health care. Sincerely, Vickie Hinkley
Sep 20 2010 4:41PM Please continue to protect a patient's access to lawfully prescribed medication. America is such a great country let's continue to support the law and the individuals protected by this law.
Sep 20 2010 4:44PM Dear Board of Pharmacy Members, Thank you for your work to represent the best interests of myself and my fellow Washingtonians. I wish to write to my concerns about a change in the current rule. I am an African-American woman and live in one of the most diverse communities in the Seattle area – Rainier Valley. Pharmacists are integral and important members of our community. They serve an important role as local facilitators of healthcare and give compassionate advice and support to us when we have question or concerns about the medications we take. I know from personal experience that pharmacists in my community speak a number of languages and have diverse cultural backgrounds that make them uniquely qualified to serve our community. I am shocked and dismayed that a current best practice and nationally admired ethical stance that a pharmacy respect the prescriptions presented by patients could be undermined. A rule change in no way would better support patient health. In no way would the refusal and facilitated referral of a prescription—in any way I can imagine—expedite patient care. It would also not increase access to the important healthcare we all need. The unforeseen discrimination and barriers of refusal—transportation issues, language barriers/misunderstandings, ability/mobility barriers, insurance barriers, etc.—are far too large a price for me and many in my community. I ask that the board protect patients’ health and keep the current rule in place. The current rule respects both patients’ health and individual pharmacists’ rights. It is a just and workable rule that is well regarded and simply good practice. Thank you, Kirsten Harris-Talley
Sep 20 2010 4:46PM Dear Board of Pharmacy Members, Thank you for your work to represent the best interests of myself and my fellow Washingtonians. I wish to write to my concerns about a change in the current rule. I am an African-American woman and live in one of the most diverse communities in the Seattle area – Rainier Valley. Pharmacists are integral and important members of our community. They serve an important role as local facilitators of healthcare and give compassionate advice and support to us when we have question or concerns about the medications we take. I know from personal experience that pharmacists in my community speak a number of languages and have diverse cultural backgrounds that make them uniquely qualified to serve our community. I am shocked and dismayed that a current best practice and nationally admired ethical stance that a pharmacy respect the prescriptions presented by patients could be undermined. A rule change in no way would better support patient health. In no way would the refusal and facilitated referral of a prescription—in any way I can imagine—expedite patient care. It would also not increase access to the important healthcare we all need. The unforeseen discrimination and barriers of refusal—transportation issues, language barriers/misunderstandings, ability/mobility barriers, insurance barriers, etc.—are far too large a price for me and many in my community. I ask that the board protect patients’ health and keep the current rule in place. The current rule respects both patients’ health and individual pharmacists’ rights. It is a just and workable rule that is well regarded and simply good practice. Thank you, Kirsten Harris-Talley
Sep 20 2010 4:47PM Dear Board of Pharmacy Members, Thank you for your work to represent the best interests of myself and my fellow Washingtonians. I wish to write to my concerns about a change in the current rule. I am an African-American woman and live in one of the most diverse communities in the Seattle area – Rainier Valley. Pharmacists are integral and important members of our community. They serve an important role as local facilitators of healthcare and give compassionate advice and support to us when we have question or concerns about the medications we take. I know from personal experience that pharmacists in my community speak a number of languages and have diverse cultural backgrounds that make them uniquely qualified to serve our community. I am shocked and dismayed that a current best practice and nationally admired ethical stance that a pharmacy respect the prescriptions presented by patients could be undermined. A rule change in no way would better support patient health. In no way would the refusal and facilitated referral of a prescription—in any way I can imagine—expedite patient care. It would also not increase access to the important healthcare we all need. The unforeseen discrimination and barriers of refusal—transportation issues, language barriers/misunderstandings, ability/mobility barriers, insurance barriers, etc.—are far too large a price for me and many in my community. I ask that the board protect patients’ health and keep the current rule in place. The current rule respects both patients’ health and individual pharmacists’ rights. It is a just and workable rule that is well regarded and simply good practice. Thank you, Kirsten Harris-Talley
Sep 20 2010 4:47PM The board of Pharmacy should dictate that all Washington pharmacies provide full access to all medications prescribed by a medical provider regardless of their social ,religious beliefs.They are licensed to dispense medications not to prescribe them or to decide what is the best medication.
Sep 20 2010 5:05PM Does the American Medical Association allow Christian Scientists to become doctors? Would it allow its doctors to pray instead of treat? Should the Pharmacy-Licensing board allow people who pass judgment on prescriptions according to RELIGIOUS criteria become pharmacists? If I eat tainted shellfish, will I be refused medicine because eating shellfish is an abomination? Will AIDS patients be refused their prescriptions because they may or may not have committed an abomination? If I come into the pharmacy wearing several different types of cloth, will I be refused my prescription? If I come in on a Sunday, will I have to return another time? The ONLY criteria that should be applied in filling a prescription are medical criteria. If a doctor can't stand the sight of blood, can he be an effective surgeon? If a pharmacist has been brain-washed into "moral squeamishness", can that person do his job?
Sep 20 2010 5:24PM I believe pharmacists should be required to provide any and all medications prescribed by a doctor. Pharmacists should not be allowed to let their own views have any bearing on this requirement. Emergency contraception is only needed in an emergency. Their are many instances when such an emergency exists--most horrendous of all is in case of incest or rape. Helen Peterson
Sep 20 2010 5:24PM It is essential, for the health and well-being of our communities, that women across the state have access to the medications they need, regardless of the voting district in which they live. Access to contraception and other family-planning options is a basic human right, without which a citizen's right to self determination is ever in jeopardy. Washingtonians need the materials necessary to make reproductive choices realistic. Thank you for your time and concideration.
Sep 20 2010 5:44PM I believe the Board of Pharmacy should compel all Washington pharmacies to provide full access to all medications prescribed by medical professionals. Access by patients is critical and should be mandated by the Board. Pharmacies and pharmacists should not be allowed to pick and choose which medications they will and will not carry, based on their beliefs and/or prejudices. When my doctor and I come to a thoughtful decision regarding my care, a pharmacist should not be able to circumvent that medical process for non-medical reasons.
Sep 20 2010 5:59PM The Board of Pharmacy needs to protect citizens by making sure that all pharmacists provide full access to all medications prescribed by medical professionals. The personal beliefs of pharmacists should not get in the way of people getting the prescriptions they need. Thank you for your time.
Sep 20 2010 6:06PM RE: Pharmacy Access Rules I think all Washington State pharmacy's need to provide access to ALL Doctor prescribed medications regardless of any type of outside factor. Health is health and should not be mixed up with personal beliefs, political beliefs, or any other kind of "belief". If that were the case then a pharmacist whose personal religion or beliefs thought that medications (for heart, depression, diabetes, etc.) should never be prescribed then our entire health care system would be in calamity. The state Pharmacy Board needs to leave health care and medication decisions with the experts-Doctors. A pharmacist can choose another career if their beliefs conflict with their job. Sincerely, Janice M. Thayer
Sep 20 2010 6:25PM The Board of Pharmacy should ensure that all Washington pharmacies provide full access to all medications prescribed by medical professionals. Access by patients is critical and should be mandated by the Board. Pharmacies and pharmacists should not be allowed to pick and choose which medications they will and will not carry, based on their beliefs and/or prejudices.
Sep 20 2010 6:46PM Please protect conscience rights! Thank you, Denise Sanborn
Sep 20 2010 6:59PM All Washington pharmacies should be legally required to fill all legal prescriptions. Patients' access to their prescibed medications should be paramount. Pharmacists should not be allowed to pick and choose which prescriptions they will carry and/or fill. If pharmacists can not fill all legal prescriptions due to personal beliefs/prejudices, then they should find another line of work.
Sep 20 2010 7:04PM It is essential that pharmacists do not allow their personal beliefs control their actions as professionals, unless their personal beliefs include a systematic provision of all medications to every customer. It is not for pharmacists to decide what to provide patients who have a proper prescription. Such a system would be madness. Every pharmacy should be well-equipped with all medications that are likely to be prescribed. There is no excuse for a personal opinion to allow or excuse a pharmacist from the duty to serve the public.
Sep 20 2010 7:04PM Changing the rule requiring legitimate prescriptions to be filled without delay or lecture is, simply stated, a very bad idea. Allowing those without he proper ethics to insert their ideology between the HIPAA protected decisions made between a physician and their patient will come around to bite the pharmacy board on the behind. This rule change allows any, medically, outlandish ideal to come into play and deny any prescription to any person at any time simply based on subjective "morals". Should a Jehovah's Witness decide to become a pharmacist, they could deny prescriptions for life-saving medications such as alpha- and beta-blockers that can ultimately end in a patient's death. To that end they would be covered from civil or criminal negligence under this new rule. No one ever held a gun to a student's head and forced them to become a pharmacist. If potential pharmacy student's "moral values" will not allow them to dispense specific medications, they do not belong in the medical field in any capacity. The same is true for those who are currently pharmacists. Clearly they need to choose a new career.
Sep 20 2010 7:47PM I believe the Board of Pharmacy should compel all Washington pharmacies to provide full access to all medications prescribed by medical professionals. Access by patients is critical and should be mandated by the Board. Pharmacies and pharmacists should not be allowed to pick and choose which medications they will and will not carry based on their beliefs and/or prejudices.
Sep 20 2010 8:07PM Women should have access to all legally approved medications through proper prescription irrespective of a pharmacists personal religious beliefs. Pharmacies should be required to issue all medications as prescribed. If someone has a moral problem with one of these drugs, that is something they need to work out with their employer not at the expense of women who may not have access to other options.
Sep 20 2010 8:17PM In an emergency patients can't shop around to find a pharmacist who is willing to fill their prescription. Sorry it's against the beliefs of some pharmacists to fill prescriptions for the "morning after pill, but it's their job to fill all valid prescriptions.
Sep 20 2010 8:35PM Pharmacists should not be able to pick and choose which medicines their patients can buy from them. Choice of medicines should be a matter between the medical professional and the patient.
Sep 20 2010 8:53PM I want to make sure that you continue to protect patients' access to lawfully prescribed medication of any kind. Thanks.
Sep 20 2010 8:54PM I believe that patients/consumers need to have access to a large variety of medications. As a former psychiatric nursing professor, I know that many folks do not believe that mental illness is indeed a disease of the nervous system and on that basis might decide that s/he did not want to accomodate a valid perscription. However, I believe that the medications that consumers take is an issue between the medical therapy team and the patient and even though other professionals may disagree on 'moral grounds' saying that mential illness is the result of sin, and deny filling the prescription, this should not be tolerated.
Sep 20 2010 9:02PM I believe the Board of Pharmacy should compel all Washington pharmacies to provide full access to all medications prescribed by medical professionals. Access by patients is critical and should be mandated by the Board. Pharmacies and pharmacists should not be allowed to pick and choose which medications they will and will not carry, based on their beliefs and/or prejudices.
Sep 20 2010 9:23PM I strongly support women's rights to their own bodies. Women have a right to contraception and abortion drugs. Some people believe that it is their god given duty and right to kill Islams and others believe that it is their duty and right to kill Christians. Both the Islamic killers and the Christian killer hate women and consider it thier right to deny women thier God given right to control their own bodies.
Sep 20 2010 9:29PM I am writing to urge the Washington State Board of Pharmacy to abandon its decision to amend WAC 248-869-010 and 246-863-095 to allow pharmacies to refuse, for any reason, to serve patients and instead refer them to other pharmacies. The existing rules, enacted under the leadership of the Board of Pharmacy and Governor Gregoire in 2007, requires pharmacies to dispense patient’s medications on site and in a timely manner. It has some exceptions for special situations, such as when a particular drug cannot be dispensed without specialized equipment or training; in those cases, it makes sense for patient safety to refer the patient to a nearby pharmacy that can properly meet the patient’s needs. This is not the case when the refusal to fill a prescription is based on a personal objection to a patient based on who she is or what she needs. Patients in Washington should be able to obtain the drugs they need on site and in a timely manner. No referral, no matter how polite or well intentioned, can provide better access than being served at the pharmacy. Referring patients to other pharmacies can prevent an individual from getting the medication s/he needs or getting it in time. If you live in a rural area you cannot easily get to another pharmacy, which may be miles away, and if you have limited resources for transportation even in a suburban or urban area, the transportation issue may be insurmountable as well. In other cases referring to a different pharmacy may be to a pharmacy that is not covered by the individual’s insurance plan. People living with HIV and AIDS depend on pharmacies for access to medications critical to their health; and yet people with HIV and AIDS have historically been subjected to discrimination within the health care system and rightly fear that a rule allowing referrals will prevent them from getting timely access to the drugs they need. Women and girls who have suffered sexual assault need immediate access to emergency contraception, and referral may only serve to increase the trauma they’ve experienced and further delay or deny them access to this critical medication. All women of childbearing age need access to prescription and non-prescription birth control, as unintended pregnancy is a serious health concern. Again I urge you to abandon your decision to amend WAC 248-869-010 and 246-863-095 and maintain the existing rules, which you rightfully issued in 2007 and have been upheld twice in the courts.
Sep 20 2010 9:34PM It is critical that pharmacists be required to dispense all prescriptions as prescribed by medical professionals. While pharmacists may know plenty about medications, only a patient and their doctor can decide what medications are necessary for that patient. It is not the role of a pharmacist to decide someones medications based on personal views or biases. Their job is to provide the medication prescribed by the patients doctor as ordered not to make someone else's medical decisions for them. If a medication is legal and is required by a patient, it should be available to them.
Sep 20 2010 9:34PM Women should be able to access these medications without interference.
Sep 20 2010 9:46PM These rules have the force of law. Under our Constitution, there can be no religious test for public office, and no law based solely on religious beliefs should bind nonbelievers. It is the professional responsibility of health care providers to "first, do no harm", and care delayed, especially in the case of time sensitive preventive care, is care denied. It is the responsibility of the Pharmacy Board to ensure that only professional standards of care are available to all patients seeking medical attention. In this country, religious bases for denial of legally protected care are neither legally nor professionally valid, whether they are commanded by priests, ministers, rabbis, imams, or any other religious authority. In this country we should not have "ayatollahs" of whatever religious persuasion imposing their equivalent of "sharia law" on nonbelievers using the force of law to do so.
Sep 20 2010 9:50PM Pharmacies and pharmacists should not be allowed to pick and choose which medications they will and will not carry, based on their beliefs and/or prejudices. Pharmacies can easily accomodate employees' beliefs by having staff members available to substitute for their coworkers when necessary.
Sep 20 2010 9:55PM I believe the Board of Pharmacy should compel all Washington pharmacies to provide full access to all medications prescribed by medical professionals. Access by patients is critical and should be mandated by the Board. Pharmacies and pharmacists should not be allowed to pick and choose which medications they will and will not carry, based on their beliefs and/or prejudices. Think of it this way. Convenience stores sell cigarettes. Cigarettes kill people - the evidence that this is so is overwhelming. How long would a convenience store clerk last if he or she decided that he or she was pro-life and wouldn't sell cigarettes. He or she would be fired almost immediately. For that matter, why are the "pro-life" people working on pharmacists? They could probably get more traction and less controversy if they advocated for greater restrictions on the sale and use of tobacco products. Jeff Silverman
Sep 20 2010 10:19PM The morning after birth control needs to be an option for every woman at every pharmacy in the state of Washington. Women should be informed about this choice and this drug should be provided to all. Under any circumstance, it should not be permissible for pharmacists who disagree with the drug to permit their personal convictions to control who can have access to this birth control option. Thank you, Dr. Strober
Sep 21 2010 12:05AM I would like to state my support for the existing rules, which, I believe, require pharmacies to fill valid prescriptions on site and on time. I can't quite tell what the intent of the rule so I am not sure if I support or not, so I will ask a couple of questions for clarity: Would this rule allow a pharmacy to deny medical care prescribed by a doctor? If yes, would this include birth-control or drugs to treat AIDS? What if someone believed breast cancer was the result of moral depravity? Could they deny a cancer patient their life-saving drugs? What about antibiotics for STDs? Would the rule being considered allow a Christian Scientist to deny prescriptions if they have religious or moral objections to any treatment outside of faith healing? I would be very interested in keeping up on this rule-making process. I guess you have only just filed the CR-101, but I would like to request that I receive notice of the CR 102 and 103. Do you have an anticipated adoption date for this rule? Oh, and is this rule mandated by legislation or is this optional rule-making? Thank you so much for you time and consideration. Best, Jocelyn Winz
Sep 21 2010 12:19AM I am writing against revising the rules. Although there is a claim to be made for a right of conscience for pharmacists, as well as for physicians, healthcare professionals have a choice to practice their professions and a professional obligation to put their patient’s interests first. If a pharmacist’s right of conscience can be accommodated without denying the patient timely and legal service (such as by having another pharmacist within the pharmacy fill the prescription), then all interests are met. If a pharmacist’s right of conscience results in delay or denial of effective, time-sensitive, legal treatment as would happen if a patient has to find another pharmacy that provides the refused product, then the patient’s interest and society’s interest in having accessible medical care is devalued relative to the individual pharmacist’s rights. As a physician, I am concerned about increasing access to legal and medically indicated treatment and for minimizing barriers to such care. There are many areas in our state where the refusal of one pharmacist to provide treatment may result in excessive costs, time, and inconvenience and risk of travel to the patient, as well as the reduction or loss of effectiveness of treatment due to delay. Pharmacists and physicians have a fiduciary obligation to patients. If a pharmacist has reason to believe that a prescribed treatment is contrary to a patient’s best interest, then there is a duty to contact the prescriber and discuss those concerns, but not to unilaterally block access to treatment. The Board of Pharmacy is correct in considering the right of conscience of healthcare professionals, but its primary duty is to assure access to safe, evidence-based, approved treatments for patients for the sake of the public. Patient’s may not have a sufficient choice of pharmacy services, whereas pharmacists have the choice of profession.
Sep 21 2010 4:17AM I support the existing pharmacy rules, which allow women to have access to legal medications when they need them.
Sep 21 2010 5:01AM It is vital to protect consumer and citizen freedoms. In a country based off of freedom, it seems many freedoms these days are taken away due to fear and clash between religious/philosophical morals and trust that these freedoms will be used in good merit. We must not vote against freedom out of fear or out of ideological differences, and instead teach about the effects of our actions to promote a sense of responsibility. We must continue to provide these medications, because who are we to tell these people that it is our ideology that must prevail. This was the same logic that drove our founding pilgrims here in the first place.
Sep 21 2010 8:15AM I believe the Board of Pharmacy should compel all Washington pharmacists to fulfill their professional obligation and commitment to provide full access to all medications prescribed by medical professionals. Access by patients is critical and should be mandated by the Board. Pharmacies and pharmacists should not be allowed to pick and choose which medications they will and will not carry, based on their beliefs and/or prejudices.
Sep 21 2010 8:51AM I believe the Board of Pharmacy should compel all Washington pharmacies to provide full access to all medications prescribed by medical professionals. Access by patients is critical and should be mandated by the Board. Pharmacies and pharmacists should not be allowed to pick and choose which medications they will and will not carry, based on their beliefs and/or prejudices
Sep 21 2010 8:52AM It is even more vital in times of economic distress that women who do not want children, and cannot afford to raise them, should be given every possible assistance to prevent pregnancy and birth, including prescription medication at their closest and speediest location.
Sep 21 2010 9:13AM This is obviously an area of deeply held convictions. Since abortion is also the death of an infant and plan B is esentially, an abortifacient, the current State rule (majority) is forcing those pharmacists (minority) who do not wish to participate in any facet of abortion to do so. It would seem to be a simple solution to allow those pharmacists/pharmacies to opt out and for Planned Parenthood (which receives federal and state funding) to publish a list of plan B participating pharmacies in all daily/weekly newespapers and on line on the DOH rules committee page. This would avoid the "majority" imposing its will on a "minority" in this arena of most deeply held convictions. We think Planned Parenthood would be sensitive to and eagerly embrace this solution. Again, this needs to be revisited within a 12 to 24 month time frame for reevalution of any problems that may arise. Dr. Edward A. and Phyllis Hopfner
Sep 21 2010 9:29AM I would like to show my strong support for providing open, healthy access to needed medications and drugs. The decision to use some sexual health drugs is not easy on anyone, and having pharmacists impose their personal beliefs and feelings (and much worse, denial for medication) makes matters significantly worse and is a step backward against open democracy. If they personally oppose specific drugs that are legal in the United States then perhaps they should find another occupation.
Sep 21 2010 9:51AM I think it's incredibly important that a publicly licensed professional be required to act in the public's best interest, putting aside their personal beliefs and prejudices. Pharmacies should continue to be required to dispense legally prescribed medication.
Sep 21 2010 11:05AM I urge the board of pharmacy to keep the rules as they are. I am not sure what these rule making "workshops" even mean, but I hope there is a chance that the board will choose to not go forward with this issue. The rules as they stand provide an effective balance which places the patients right to health first. Pharmacists are free to exercise their conscience rights and refuse to dispense a certain medication, but they must have someone on staff who is willing to do so. This is only fair given rural communities where not having someone on staff to give such advice could prevent access. For low income persons, cost of the needed medications is enough of a barrier, please do not add further transportation costs. Sure, referral sounds like a great idea, but what about those individuals who are not able-bodied, who are young or old and lack access to transportation. I do not want to imagine the experience of a sexual violence survivor who is told to go to the next pharmacy, invalidating her needs due to personal beliefs. Also, pharmacies are required by law to stock certain drugs once the public requests them. A pharmacy refusal law should not allow pharmacies to bypass their duty to serve their clients needs. To change the rule would be to place these pharmacists needs above our patient's needs of WA state! Please do not do this.
Sep 21 2010 11:19AM
Sep 21 2010 11:21AM People must be able to act according to their conscience.
Sep 21 2010 11:24AM It seems giving pharmacy employees the option to refer patients to another pharmacy if conscience is an issue best follows a US citizens indiviudaul rights verses taking them away. This ruling does not take the option of care away from anyone.
Sep 21 2010 11:24AM Please allow professionals and business owners the freedom to follow their conscience in this matter.
Sep 21 2010 11:33AM I believe that without this protection the rights of pharmacists are slowly being erroded. They must have the freedom to stand up for what they believe. As a registered nurse, I want the freedom to be able to say NO to assisting in an abortion procedure and I want this same freedom for pharmacists Thank you, Mary Fox, RN
Sep 21 2010 11:33AM This would be a great way to allow what the Constitution allows, and what my church teaches: the freedom to follow one's conscience in every aspect of life. Government should not force an individual in business to act in a way which he/she holds to be morally wrong. This matter includes something sacred and precious, the gift of life.
Sep 21 2010 11:36AM
Sep 21 2010 11:39AM A business should have the freedom of any citizen in the US. No one should force a private business to sell anything against thier beliefs or relegion.There are plenty other places to get medication. We are responcible for our actions and after all these years we should be teaching our girls that. We have plentys of ways to prevent pregnacy and should usse them.
Sep 21 2010 11:41AM I do not think any private company/business should be forced to sell anything they chose not to. Nor should they be penalized in any way.
Sep 21 2010 11:46AM Like any other private business, pharmacists should not be required to stock every drug out there. As long as other pharmacies in the area have it, there should be no issue over this.
Sep 21 2010 11:48AM Why does anyone in America think it is a good idea to force or demand anyone else to think & act against their conscience? This is America home of the free...let usd be lead by our conscience, forced & demandedby no one.
Sep 21 2010 11:49AM I support the right of pharmacists to be ruled by their consciences when it comes to whether or not to dispense life-killing "morning after" drugs.
Sep 21 2010 11:51AM I think that all WA pharmacies should be required to carry and dispense all medically prescribed medication. Picking and choosing is ridiculous. Thank you.
Sep 21 2010 11:54AM I believe each person has the right not to dispense the morning after pill. I am a follower of Jesus Christ. People should learn to abstain from sex outside of marriage. Karen
Sep 21 2010 11:57AM Allow providers to refer patients to nearby providers if they have a conscientious objection to dispensing a drug.
Sep 21 2010 12:01PM I support the "Right to Conscience".
Sep 21 2010 12:05PM I believe the Board of Pharmacy should compel all Washington pharmacies to provide full access to all medications prescribed by medical professionals. Access by patients is critical and should be mandated by the Board. Pharmacies and pharmacists should not be allowed to pick and choose which medications they will and will not carry, based on their beliefs and/or prejudices.
Sep 21 2010 12:06PM I concur
Sep 21 2010 12:15PM I am in support of pharmacists having the right of conscious while also providing referral options for their customers.
Sep 21 2010 12:21PM Pharmacists, like any other business, should not be required to sell anything that makes no business sense or are not comfortable with. Do we require people in construction to use materials that they do not approve of for "green" reasons? Do we force reporters to report on news that doesn't fit the news cycle or wouldn't attract viewers? Is there any sane person that thinks that the signs at stores saying "No shoes, no shirt, no service" violate anyone's civil rights? Pharmacists should not be forced to carry medications that they don't want to carry for whatever reason. Some meds aren't shelf-stable for long, and must be replaced frequently. Why force a pharmacy to carry them in an area where they aren't prescribed frequently enough to prevent them from incurring a loss? Forcing any industry - particularly one that is health-related - to do things against its ethical and moral code is just asking for an amoral and unethical next generation of professionals anyway; the good ones that would have gone into the profession will take a second look at what they'll be forced to do, and choose something else. I'd much rather see a pharmacist that had to occasionally refer me down the street but looks out for my general health, than one that will fill anything but is too apathetic to give me good counsel if they see an issue that needs addressing. Consider a pharmacist that thinks killing babies in the womb is just fine. What's his motivation to warn you that your new prescription to treat some unrelated problem during pregnancy might cause a miscarriage? Particularly if it's been beaten into him that he must provide abortion drugs at any time, and better keep his mouth shut if he's got a concern about the unborn. Nope, forcing people to do things that go against their ethics and morals - particularly when they are not the only provider, but can refer customers to those who can provide those services with no qualms - is just a bad idea. Add in the economic and business factors; it should be obvious to anyone that this new rule needs revision.
Sep 21 2010 12:31PM
Sep 21 2010 12:42PM The right to conscience is important, not only for pharmacists, but for all Americans.
Sep 21 2010 12:48PM Dear Sir or Madam, Please, please consider moral values of many healthcare givers and personnel who have a conscientious objection, to dispensing Ella or any Plan B type abortion causing chemicals. As medical providers we should be following the Hippocratic Oath to support life. The sanctity of human beings is something I do not take lightly. Much wisdom we have, but if we are destroying life we are not practicing the basis of any standard. Thank you, Mrs. K. Peterson (mother of a pharmacy student, & 9 other treasures.) BSN. PS I'm not sure why the politics of Gov. Murray has so much pull over our profession and our ethics!
Sep 21 2010 12:55PM We must preserve the right of conscience for all professionals in this country.
Sep 21 2010 1:02PM I believe the Board of Pharmacy should compel all Washington pharmacists to fulfill their profess...ional obligation and commitment to provide full access to all medications prescribed by medical professionals. Access by patients is critical and should be mandated by the Board. Pharmacies and pharmacists should not be allowed to pick and choose which medications they will and will not carry, based on their beliefs and/or prejudices.
Sep 21 2010 1:33PM
Sep 21 2010 1:39PM I was confused!! I believe I meant to say NO I do NOT agree with the Pharmacy Licensing making all pharmacists fill the morning after pill. Sorry!! Camille
Sep 21 2010 1:42PM Always allow people to object on moral grounds.
Sep 21 2010 1:50PM We must allow Pharmacists to be able to act according to their conscience and beliefs, religious or otherwise.
Sep 21 2010 2:07PM I do not believe that drugs that terminate a life, born or not, should be dispensed at all. It is not health care. Pharmacists should be able to opt out. If the pharmacy board wants referals, they should provide a method other than requiring pharmacist to activly make a referal. Maybe a 1-800 phone line could be used.
Sep 21 2010 2:09PM I believe the Board of Pharmacy should compel all Washington pharmacists to fulfill their professional obligation and commitment to provide full access to all medications prescribed by medical professionals. Access by patients is critical and should be mandated by the Board. Pharmacies and pharmacists should not be allowed to pick and choose which medications they will and will not carry, based on their beliefs and/or prejudices.
Sep 21 2010 3:02PM I agree with the Pharmacy Board's amendment to the anti-conscience rules. The following comments may be outside the scope of "proposed and draft rules", but that's not for me to decide. I believe that our governor, NARAL, Planned Parenthood, Legal Voice, and those who side with them, live in fear of the future, and death to the unborn, among others, is only one of their pathetic solutions. Our people have shed their blood to protect us from this kind of tyranny that our governor and other death advocates relish. All they want is total control at OUR cost. May it never be. They are deceived and live in deception, and try to persuade others to live in it also. The nature of their deception is they don't know they are in it, nor the source of it. Don't be deceived! The Truth is, we have a natural right to act on our consciences and to defend that right from their tyranny.
Sep 21 2010 3:16PM It is a right under God for all liberty loving people to make decisions based upon their conscience. I uphold this with my life, liberty and sacred honor as did our forefathers of the United States in 1776 as also expressed in the United States' Declaration of Independance, "We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal that they are endowed by their Creator (Jehova, God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) with certain unalienable rights and among them are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Additionally, Abraham Lincoln said in the Gettysburg Address, "we meet (here) testing whether this nation or any nation may long endure". I encourage you, our representatives, do not erode the freedoms that Americans throughout the centuries fought and died to preserve.
Sep 21 2010 3:45PM It is my feeling that health care providers of any type should not be forced to prescribe or perform things that go against their conscience. This is particularly true when those seeking that service can get it elsewhere as is the case with the filling of prescriptions.
Sep 21 2010 4:25PM The pharmacy board should require all parties to fill medications ordered by a licensed health care provider.
Sep 21 2010 4:33PM It has been cruel to demonize those whose religious objections keep them from offering certain products. It's also unwiae policy. Plenty of providers offer the products if they are sought and the only thing this controversy has served to do is increase legal costs for people providing care for health, service to communities, and also seek to uphold their freedom of conscience.
Sep 21 2010 5:01PM I truly belive that in a puralistic society such as ours that people should have the right of conscience in matters such as this. They should not be forced to chose between their jobs an doing something they feel is morally wrong. Please allow those who object for reasons of conscience to be able to refer people to other pharamcies Thank you.
Sep 21 2010 5:11PM I think everyone should be able to act according to his conscience, no matter what the occupation. People have alternatives as to what pharmacy they wish to use, while pharmacists should not have to put their jobs on the line if they follow their own ethical beliefs. If more people lived by the dictates of their consciences, this world would be a better place.
Sep 21 2010 5:13PM There is absolutely no reason other than political, that a government should force someone to provide a product or service against their will when a customer can simply receive that product or service somewhere else. Enough seizing of power to gratify a tiny, loud special interest group.
Sep 21 2010 5:21PM Pharamacists should absolutely NOT have to dispense any drug for which they have objections. Isn't this a free country?
Sep 21 2010 5:27PM Let the free market have control over the government. To the Freedom Of Choice folks: practice your religion by choosing a different provider. To the FOC folks "who can't get there in time", simmer down, killing your own is not a medical emergency. (Spiritual emergency?). Don't worry, you won't die. To any Provider: You should continue being free to sell, or not, anything that's legal. If my favorite Mexican restaurant doesn't make hamburgers, shall I make a law requiring them to do so? Of course, healthcare is a bigger issue than this, but taking an innocent life is not for health, nor care, but for convenience. Everyone knows this. Why are many of you pretending that taking a life is healthy? How's it working for you? (Well, yes, PP is raking in tons of our tax $$$ so it works for them, just ask them). How about a "legitimate" case? What a parallel to Hitler's game. Take an extreme case, slide the scale and make it apply to everyone. This is the game we're playing again because we failed to remember that it doesn't work. Also, if it's a gun to kill, it's violent, if it's Plan B to kill, it's compassionate. FOCers kill in the compassionate way and call it being responsible, or "pro-child, pro-choice". How about calling it the selfishness and murder that it is, stop doing it, and choose life?! It actually works really well! Just ask those who have. There are many nongovernment, more effective sources of help out there. And "HELP" is what this is all about.
Sep 21 2010 6:11PM The board should amend their original intent and allow those who feel a conscious objection to this pill to send customers to another pharmacy. Furthermore, I believe this pill should be outlawed in the first place and we should be moving toward repealing Roe vs Wade. How many babies need to die before enough is enough. I think it is a travesty what we have done to the unborn. And we call ourselves a civilized nation. Not only have we butchered somewhere close to 40 million babies, but we now find it necessary to make the baby suffer while we allow the fetus to be partially born before we choose to end its life. How long do you think this can go on before God holds our nation accountable for allowing the butchery of the unborn. I think it is time for those who are making these decisions to wake up and realize that abortion is a business. It is appalling that we would allow something like this to happen just for convenience sake, and for the almighty dollar.
Sep 21 2010 6:44PM Pharmacists should not have to go against their beliefs and values.
Sep 21 2010 7:05PM One of our basic rights is that of the free exercise of our own religion. Without the right of conscience, a rule by the Pharmacy Board such as this provides for individuals, who for religious reasons violate the provisions of the rule, to be punished for following their conscience based on their religious beliefs. Since there are other ways to allow patients to obtain drugs or treatments, the despensing of which would violate certain Pharmacists conscience, I urge you to ammend your rule so as to allow for these Pharmacists to obey their conscience, while still allowing patients to obtain these medications.
Sep 21 2010 7:08PM
Sep 21 2010 7:13PM I would like them to continue to protect patients' access to lawfully prescribed medication.
Sep 21 2010 7:43PM I concur with the board's recent decision to allow pharmacists to follow their conscience and not dispense those drugs that would possibly cause an abortion. Pharmacists do not carry all drugs and can direct customers to a pharmacy that choses to carry these drugs.
Sep 21 2010 8:08PM I am appalled that the Board would revise a ruling after the Governor DEMANDED that you revise it in a particular way. Your revised ruling included the requirement that Pharmacies dispense the Plan B pill. I am under the impression that Governor Gregoire was following the demands of NARAL and Planned Parenthood, insisting that your ruling would deny pharmacies the opportunity to NOT dispense that particular drug, or even refer the inquirer to another nearby pharmacy. The rule was so bad that a court case ensued, causing us, the taxpayers, to have to defend the Board and spend what seemed like unnecessary tax dollars, which are in a real short supply. It was so bad that I was led to believe the Attorney General recommended against it and that his office did not have the money to continue the legal proceedings. Clearly your initial ruling was a BAD rule. I am in full agreement that the Pharmacy Board provide a provision in the proposed revision to the rule so a pharmacy would not be REQUIRED to offer the Plan B pill or the Ella pill, but would be permitted to refer the patient to another nearby pharmacy. Please consider how many different medications are available and the absolute impossibility of any pharmacy to stock every one of them. It is impossible, so it only makes sense that your board rewrite the ruling. Please make sure that there is a clear provision for a pharmacy to opt out of these particular drugs. Thank you for including my comments in the file. I would be happy to discuss it further, but I can not attend the next hearing.
Sep 21 2010 8:24PM Decisions based upon the right of conscience is something that ought be a given. As citizens and individuals we believe differently and base our decisions upon many criteria one of which is upon someones conscience of right and wrong. If we are not allowed to base our decisions upon such beliefs we fail to uphold a civil society and devolve into one where you are ruled by force. We will not survive as a nation if that is what we become. Providing pharmacists the time honored ability to act upon their conscience is one area that should not be undermined by fiat but considered as a measure to be protected and preserved.
Sep 21 2010 8:42PM
Sep 21 2010 9:47PM It is essential that all pharmacies fill prescriptions as prescribed by medical professionals. If a pharmacists beliefs do not allow them to carry out the full job - fulfilling prescriptions for whatever is medically indicated, then they should find another line of work. Just as with any other profession, if their beliefs prevent them from doing the job fully, then they need to do something else. (If you are afraid of heights, don't become a roofer.) The board of pharmacy should require all pharmacies and pharmacists to provide patients access to the medications they need. Pharmacy, the pharmacist, or the companies owning the pharmacy should not be allowed to impose their prejudices and beliefs on patients.
Sep 21 2010 10:12PM I concur that pharmacists be allowed to follow their conscience as to whether or not they dispense abortion drugs like Plan-B. Just like I do not believe doctors should be forced to do abortions as some are suggesting. Taking a life is wrong. Why should a pharmacist who have moral standards against taking a life be forced to dispense a drug that is meant to do just that. Please allow pharmacists the freedom to follow their concience. Plan-B after all can be dispensed by the doctors who prescribe the drug for their paitents.
Sep 21 2010 11:24PM Dear Board, my wife and I urge you to have some back-bone and stand for integrity. Destroying an unborn life is killing in the Creator's eyes. Let's be thankful for the miracle of life, those who see daylight and the unborn. Don't be pressured by politicians or industry. Each of you report to that same Creator daily and on judgement day. Thank you for having integrity on this issue and on others that come before your Board.
Sep 22 2010 6:12AM I do not believe any pharmacist should be forced to violate their conscience and distribute an abortion pill. Many people, including me, still believe that life begins at conception and any form of ending that life is just flat out wrong. The government should not be in the business of funding or promoting any form of abortion, including a pill.
Sep 22 2010 8:04AM Attempting to undermine decisions based upon conscience is an precursor to undermining humanity and society and making people non-entities.
Sep 22 2010 9:13AM
Sep 22 2010 10:13AM
Sep 22 2010 10:28AM My comment is for the RIGHT TO CONSCIENCE. We live in the wonderful USA... the land of the free and the home of the brave. Here we are free to voice our varied opinons and brave enough to start our own businesses. Please do not take away our individual rights and convictions to do the right thing. Many of us value life and to ask individuals, brave business owners, to go against what they believe, in my opinion, is simply wrong and has a very controlling ring to it. Thank you for taking time to read my opinion. Sincerely, Debbie Cooper
Sep 22 2010 10:33AM I believe that it is wrong to force anyone to run their business against their conscience. The pharmacy is not denying access to this pill, but only saying that it is not aviable there, the person is directed to a pharmacy where it is avilable. Isn't this one of the freedoms that our young men and women are fighting for? Anita Russum
Sep 22 2010 11:57AM I definitely believe that a pharmacist/pharmacy has the right to NOT dispense such products if it goes against their beliefs. Those who feel that they need such products can go elsewhere, if they so choose. The law should not force people to do things against what they believe is wrong. I DO NOT concur with the existing law and believe it should be revised.
Sep 22 2010 12:23PM I strongly disagree with the idea that any one should be forced to violate their right of conscience in regard to selling anything in their pharmacy/store. Most especially I disagree with the forced sale of those drugs/products that take a human life.
Sep 22 2010 2:35PM Dear Board of Pharmacy, Please protect the rights of conscience. No one in our civilized society should be compelled to do things that are against her or his conscience. Our Bill of Rights enshrines the right to religious freedom. I urge the Board to develop rules that protect the rights of conscience for all pharmacy workers. Thank you for considering my comments. I wish you peace. Sincerely, Jim Thomas
Sep 22 2010 3:46PM Much as people would like to frame this decision about individual choice, it is not. One side of the equation (the pharmicist) has the choice and on the other side (the customer) does not. This is then, an unequal equation. The customer has a prescription to fill and needs assistance in doing so, with full expectation that they are in the right place to do so. A judgment message and/or another set of steps to follow before getting their medication, is simply not a fair part to the equation. If a pharmicist cannot do their job because their belief system precludes their effectiveness at doing their job, they will need to "choose" to do a different job. We all would like individual choice, but no one should want it, or be allowed to have it, at the expense of another person's health or well-being.
Sep 22 2010 4:47PM It is a matter of social justice to protect the rights of citizens to act according to conscience. Please uphold this basic democratic right. Thank you.
Sep 22 2010 5:42PM As a health care professional, I am against any ruling that would take the right of conscience away from individuals in any way shape or form.This is anti-constitutional and imposes on my rights as an American citizen and human being who respects life. The state does not have the right to mandate pharmacists to stock and sell the after morning pill, just as it does not have the right to mandate myself to participate in a termination of pregnancy as an operating room nurse. Sincerely, Kristy Welles,RN
Sep 22 2010 7:16PM This issue is NOT about having Access to Medications. It’s about an individual’s right to make his/her own “professional” decision freely without legal coercion. Pharmacists are medical “professionals” and should be treated with the respect they deserve and not like they are just prescription-filling robots. They work closely with physicians and other health practitioners to ensure that patients are treated with the safest medications. Pharmacists are not in the profession to dispense drugs that are known to deliberately “take life or inhibit life”, that is not the oath they took, nor is it something society should want! Pharmacists routinely review medication orders, prescriptions, and medication profiles to help ensure appropriate drug selection, doses, and dosing schedule. They look for drug-drug and drug-food interactions that may be harmful to a patient and isn’t that what we want?! If a pharmacist identifies a drug related problem or detects a potentially dangerous situation, such as a drug that has been made to deliberately destroy life or inhibit life, she/he is responsible for notifying the doctor, patient, or both, and recommends potential alternatives. Why are people acting like pharmacists are less important than physicians with no authority to make personal decisions on dispensing drugs that can be harmful to the patient? Pharmacists are just as important as doctors when it comes to knowing and dispensing drugs as that is their field of expertise. Shame on those who think that pharmacists should just do whatever they are told no matter what the consequences to the patient! Pharmacists are in the field to help people, not to destroy life, which is what pharmacists are trying to tell the public. They do not want to be legally forced to dispense drugs that deliberately kill or inhibit new life, such as abortion drugs. That is what this issue is really about! Get educated!
Sep 22 2010 8:12PM Please preserve the conscience rights of Pharmacists. Additionally, Pharmacies should be allowed to stock the drugs they wish to stock. I am concerned when the state tells an agency what they must carry and sell. Not all pharmacies carry all durgs or forms of a drug. Thank you. Toni Halsey
Sep 22 2010 8:25PM It is neither the job nor the right of pharmacists to pick and choose which legal and prescribed medications they will provide based on their personal beliefs. They exist to exercise their professional expertise while providing access to medicine, not to mandate who gets what according to whim, prejudice, or even deeply held religious or philosophical convictions.
Sep 22 2010 9:27PM Please protect the rights of conscience.
Sep 23 2010 6:48AM The right of conscience must be upheld. At no time should a person be required to do what is against his core beliefs. I support the pharmacists and all those concientious objectors to war. Stay strong on this. The few who have this faith might cause a bit of inconvenience because those who demand 100% compliance have to go somewhere else. They will find it easy to get their prescriptions filled as the vast majority of pharmacists will serve them. Let those who object for reasons of concience follow their core beliefs.
Sep 23 2010 7:16AM I was once denied a prescription - for a 'Foster Child' because he was covered by Medicaide. I was able to get it at another pharmacy. Yes, it infuriated me - but I do not believe having a prescription filled is a "Right" to be legislated. This is a much deeper issue. When we begin denying 'right of conscience' to people for any reason what-so-ever, we begin denying our freedom as citizens of a "Free" country. This is morally wrong. I beg you, do not legislate 'no choice' for our people. We will hate to live in the kind of country that results. Sincerely, Jane D Ramseyer
Sep 23 2010 7:21AM The State Board of Pharmacy is correct to re-visit this important freedom for all people in the country including Washington State pharmacists. Health care professionals want the best service and care given to each of our patients, born and unborn. Some pharmacists believe that human life begins at conception. Forcing a professional to do harm to those tiny humans dehumanizes the health care system. It is against the Hippocratic Oath. We want and need pharmacists to have a moral conscience. Taking that away makes them a mere machine. Protecting the rights of their conscience is one of the many important jobs of the State Board. Thank you again for revisiting this very important issue.
Sep 23 2010 9:38AM Please keep the rule as it is. The current rule is already a compromise intended to accommodate both pharmacists and patients. I cannot understand why a pharmacist should have the final say in decisions made by doctor and patient, especially if the rule already protects individual pharmacists as long as patients can have their prescriptions filled at the pharmacy they first go to. This is a terrible idea in any state, but more egregious in one with large rural areas where pharmacies are very far apart.
Sep 23 2010 10:11AM Please protect pharmacists' and pharmacy owners’ rights of conscience. They should not be forced to choose between their conscience and their livelihood.
Sep 23 2010 10:20AM I believe that this is fair as it upholds a pharmacist's right to his or her personal opinion. For some people, to provide a drug that is used to kill an unwanted embryo amounts to being an accomplice to murder. To force this person to perform an activity that is truly against his or her personal convictions is unconstitutional and brutish. As there are other providers, for the government to forcefully coerce individuals who conscientiously object is unnecessary. In practice, providers are allowed to refer patients to other providers for business and secular reasons and this makes practical sense. To prohibit providers from referring patients to nearby providers when the providers have a conscientious objection amounts to discrimination. I urge you to allow for this amendment to protect pharmacists' freedom of conscience.
Sep 23 2010 11:20AM There are certain "prescription medications" that are actually abortifacients, including but not limited to the so-called "Plan B" pill. For those people who believe that life and human rights begin at conception, willfully preventing a fertilized egg from implanting is tantamount to murder, and providing the means to cause this is tantamount to being an accessory to murder. I am a Catholic priest in training. I will be asked to guide Catholics all over the state closer to God by helping them to do good and avoid evil. I cannot pretend that Plan B does not bring about evil, and I cannot lead my parishioners astray by claiming that there is no moral quandary in distributing such a pill. Unless the conscience protections are amended, I will have to recommend to many of my parishioners that they start over in a different career rather than continue carrying out the evil mandated by the state. Even the financial insecurity brought about by such a career change is better than continually being forced to violate the natural law and the will of God. Section 11 of the Washington State Constitution guarantees “Absolute freedom of conscience in all matters of religious sentiment, belief and worship” for every individual. Forcing pharmacists to distribute all medications, including those which they might deem immoral because of their “religious sentiments” hardly seems to be in line with this constitutional guarantee.
Sep 23 2010 11:36AM PLEASE protect conscience rights! That's basic "freedom of.... whatever" to be able to NOT issue abortion-inducing drugs. I'm a mental health counselor; I would have to quit my practice if I were forced to counsel someone to have an abortion simply because it is legal. Please don't make pharmacists do the same thing.
Sep 23 2010 12:43PM I am strongly opposed to changing the Board of Pharmacy rule regarding access to medications. The current rule is reasonable, was adopted with widespread public input, protects the public’s access to necessary medications and already accommodates the so-called “morality” concerns of certain pharmacists. I see absolutely no justification for changing this rule. The fact that one grocery store owner and a few pharmacists have sued the state is no excuse to capitulate and weaken our standards. The Board of Pharmacy’s mandate is to “protect the public’s health and safety and to promote the welfare of the state by regulating the competency and quality of professional health care providers under their jurisdiction.” Allowing pharmacies to deny medication to patients based on moral or religious grounds is in clear conflict with your mission and a threat to public health. I know that you have been presented with at least one example of a patient being denied antibiotics because of the extreme religious views of a pharmacist. It is unacceptable for this to happen and even more unacceptable for the state to formally allow it. Pharmacies must dispense legal medications without discrimination or delay. It is ridiculous to suggest referring patients to a “nearby” pharmacy as a solution. In many communities there is no pharmacy nearby. Sending a sick or scared patient down the road creates a barrier to access. It is ignorant to compare a pharmacy to a grocery or clothing store where supply and demand and the free market determine which products are sold. Pharmacies are an integral part of our health care delivery system and certain standards should be met in order to be granted the privilege of obtaining a license from the State. Those who are unable to meet those standards should not be issued a license. I have seen comments attempting to equate pharmacists to conscientious objectors in the military, and this requires quite a stretch of the imagination. The military doesn’t send a declared conscientious objector out into the trenches to provide cover for fellow soldiers. That person should be given duties he or she can fulfill that won’t jeopardize the troops. Likewise, our current rule accommodates pharmacists without allowing their personal beliefs to threaten patient health. A more apt comparison would be a police officer who has a moral or religious objection to certain laws and refuses to enforce them. That police officer has a right to vote against the lawmakers that enacted those laws, write letters to the editor, and picket city hall in her spare time, but she should, and likely would get fired if she refuses to perform the duties of the job. Again, I urge you to abandon this rulemaking process. The current rule is fair and effective and should not be changed.
Sep 23 2010 2:34PM It is very important that pharmacists can let their consciences lead them in choosing or not choosing to dispense some pharmaceudicals. Please do not take away their ability to do this. Thank-you.
Sep 23 2010 2:53PM Please approve a "facilitated right of referral" in place of the current requirement to dispense all drugs including the ones which are associated with the taking of human life. No person in a private business should be forced to do an act that is against their conscience.
Sep 23 2010 3:20PM Please protect the conscientious rights of pharmacists. Please allow these pharmacists to have a choice whether or whether not to carry/sell "Plan B" or "Ella". Thank you.
Sep 23 2010 3:44PM It is not right to force someone to act against their conscience. I hope you have the fortitude to stand up against those that condone the killing of innocent human life. The ultimate result of their mantra will be the complete destruction of human life on this planet. Thank you for letting me express my opinion. Best Regards, Phil Metschan
Sep 23 2010 4:13PM I thank Washington State Board of Pharmacy for reconsidering the right of pharmacists in the state to refer clients to nearby pharmacies to fill drugs they either do not have in-stock, or for which the pharmacist feels is against his/her right of conscience to fill. Judge Ronald Leighton, of the U.S. District Court of the Western District of Washington, in granting the original injunction, stated that: “On the issue of free exercise of religion alone, the evidence before the court convinces it that plaintiffs, individual pharmacists, have demonstrated both a likelihood of success on the merits and the possibility of irreparable injury.” He said that “the regulations appear to target religious practice in a way forbidden by the Constitution” and “appear to intentionally place a significant burden on the free exercise of religion for those who believe life begins at conception.” The 9th U.S. Circuit Court in July 2009 found that Washington state attorneys failed to demonstrate that abortion-inducing drugs such as Plan B weren’t already easily available. When the Pharmacy Board voted unanimously on June 29, it reached a legal agreement with board members, their attorneys and the pharmacists, stipulating that, by this vote, the board intends “to adopt a rule allowing facilitated referrals for all pharmacies and pharmacists out of stock, or unable or unwilling to stock or timely deliver or dispense, lawfully prescribed medications on-site to their patients for any reason, including for conscientious reasons.” Board vice chairman Albert Linggi said that the present ruling made it “financially not viable” to insist that “pharmacies stock every drug that’s on the market.” He said that he believes the board will favor giving pharmacists that permission. I know the board has to go through this process of opening it up for public response, but I hope that numbers of people responding will not in any way prevent the Board from reversing its previous ruling and letting stand what both our state constitution and U.S Constitution have already clearly stated that a person's right of conscience is fully protected and guaranteed in this country and in the State of Washington.
Sep 23 2010 4:13PM Pro-choice advocates declare their right to determine and follow their values. Please do not take away that freedom from health care professionals. Please amend the anti-conscience regulations to allow providers to refer patients to nearby providers if they have conscientious objection to dispensing a drug. Please stand for American freedom for all. Thank you.
Sep 23 2010 5:57PM I agree that the amendment needs to be approved to allow a Pharmacist to Consciously object to filling a prescription for morning after pills. I believe this right is protected under our constitution. As a Nurse Practitioner, I consciously object to prescribe a morning after pill. Therefore, Pharmacists have the right to consciously object in filling the morning after pill. Thank you for respecting our beliefs. Kim Poppe, ARNP
Sep 23 2010 7:08PM All health care personel should be able to refuse to perform acts that are against their moral and/or religious ethics. This has always been the right of those in the USA and I am appalled that any group would try to take away so fundamental a right in a supposedly free country. Many individuals might have to leave the health field because of this. Those desiring the services regarding abortions and abortifacents will have ample other health care personel to take care of this and do not have the right to force others to act in a way abhorant to them. In other words, just because a thing can be done legally does not mean you can force another to take part in it. Please rethink taking away the concience clause from the pharmacy licensing regulations. Yours truly, Glenda Brown
Sep 23 2010 7:45PM Please revise the rule so that pharmacists do not have to dispense or stock a medicine which would violate their conscience. Please do not require a pharmacist to provide a facilitated referral. If you require pharmacy staff to call around until they find a medicine it will keep them from helping their other clients and thus increase the already lengthy wait times to obtain a prescrition. I frequently wait 1 hour to have a script filled. The patient can be handed a list of phone numbers for nearby pharmacies which the patient may then call.This is not a moral rebuff or punishment, but a fact of business, just as if a pharmacy tells them to go to another pharmacy because they don’t carry a medicine to treat their H1N1 influenza. As a physician, on probably a monthly basis I have to tell a pharmacy that the patient needs a medicine that day which the pharmacy doesn’t stock and the pharmacy sends the patient to another pharmacy. I understand that some pharmacies in Washington don’t fill any prescriptions for new Medicaid customers because they lose money to fill them. Will these pharmacies suffer the same punishment or be exempt because it is OK to protect one’s financial profits, but not one’s right of conscience.
Sep 23 2010 9:06PM Please preserve/ensure a pharmacist's right of conscious to not dispense medications that would endanger life at all stages. • This issue has nothing to do with access to medications and everything to do with a pro-abortion agenda. It began by Planned Parenthood and other abortion interest groups targeting pharmacists who refrain from stocking and dispensing Plan B. These groups were present in great numbers at the first Hearing. • The Board’s investigations on complaints filed against pharmacists, for denying medication due to conscientious objections, revealed that no woman was ever denied Plan B in a timely manner due to a conscientious objection. • The drugs pharmacists seek the right to refrain from stocking and dispensing are drugs that have the potential to terminate human life, like Plan B and Ella, not live saving medication. • Pharmacists should not have to choose between potentially terminating human life and losing their license to practice pharmacy—their livelihood. -Physicians have the right to refuse to perform abortions, we should have the right to refrain from dispensing a medication that would terminate a life. Thank you
Sep 23 2010 9:29PM Please uphold this fundamental right of Americans, especially since it involves the possible loss of employment, acutely and long term. Many Washingtonians are not aware of these proceedings, and if so, most are unable due to time or travel constraints, to attend the hearing on September 29th, 2010, however, most of our citizens strongly concur that freedom of conscience rights are necessary and even obligatory. Thank you for your consideration of amending the previous bill. We appreciate the courage of those who have sponsored it. Sincerely, David and Celia Gardner
Sep 24 2010 2:21AM I do not believe that any pharmacist has the right to decide the medical treatment of any client. Their job is to follow the laws RCW's and WAC's. It is unreasonable to expect any one pharmacy to stock every medication, too many drugs would be wasted because there is no demand. If a pharmacy choses not to carry certain medications because there is no demand they should not be penalized. But if there is a demand then they should be obligated to carry said medications. A pharmacy run by a pharmacist who does not believe in Plan B for example may run for years without stocking this medication because no one needs it. They should not be demonized for this decision, but if then a person in need comes in and requests this medication, then there is now a demand and they should at least keep some on hand to meet this demand. I believe that the primary job of a pharmacist is to educate and inform, which is a dying art because too often pharmacists are having to fill too many prescriptions to give each customer the time and engery needed to do so. No one end of the day has the right to deny me my rights because of a religious or emotional belief. If pharmacists feel compelled to do so, then be a consultant or work for a big pharamcy with more than just one pharmacist so that you do not have to get your hands dirty, but every person you serve gets treated fairly under the law.
Sep 24 2010 5:04AM Not sure if I filled this out right. But I do not believe ANY pharmacist should be forced to give out this contraceptive. It should be their right to say no. People who use this will easily find somewhere else to purchase the product.
Sep 24 2010 8:03AM It is immoral to require someone to violate their conscience. We may as well live in China! Please support conscientious objectors' choice! Thank you.
Sep 24 2010 9:57AM I concur with the amendment to the anti-conscience rules. Very simply put, this allows pharmacists, in good conscience. to avoid participating in what they believe to be the murder of an innocent child. In 1963, the Draft Board honored my request to be classified as a 'conscientious objector'. That didn't prohibit me from serving in the US Army, but did allow me to avoid being trained in the use of lethal weapons in connection with that service. Why should pharmacists be required to be dispensers of lethal "weapons", drugs that end innocent life? Those who have the intention of ending such life should have the greater burden here---they can obtain such drugs from other dispensers who don't have conscientious objections. "Convenience" is not a "right", and the drugs in question are only "life-threatening" to innocent life. Not being able to obtain them does not threaten the life of the individual who is requesting them. There are other "remedies" for the "problem" that might result if the drugs are not obtained. This comes down to "convenience" versus "conscience". I vote for conscience.
Sep 24 2010 10:25AM Please protect conscience rights! We need our freedoms to act according to our beleifs. I am an mental health counselor; I would have to close my practice if I were forced to counsel people to have abortions which are against my beliefs. This would harm me by causing me to do wrong, and I have proof that it would do harm to my clients. I don't think pharmacists should have to do a similar act of providing abortion-incuding drugs.
Sep 24 2010 10:27AM I do not understand why the Pharmacy Board is proposing changes to the rules which require pharmacists to fill prescriptions for legally prescribed medications. Under rules developed, patients are guaranteed access to medicines duly prescribed and pharmacists are allowed to refuse filling if they provide access to someone who will fill the prescription. This seems to me to be a fair compromise - why even consider making a change?
Sep 24 2010 10:28AM I do not understand why the Pharmacy Board is proposing changes to the rules which require pharmacists to fill prescriptions for legally prescribed medications. Under rules developed, patients are guaranteed access to medicines duly prescribed and pharmacists are allowed to refuse filling if they provide access to someone who will fill the prescription. This seems to me to be a fair compromise - why even consider making a change?
Sep 24 2010 10:46AM Please do not amend the anticonscience regulations for pharmacists
Sep 24 2010 1:30PM We recognize conscientious objectors in the armed services. Why should we not recognize the conscience rights of pharmacists? Requiring pharmacists to give up their livlihood because their conscience prohibits their participation in the killing of children in the early stages of life is unconscionable. It is also tyrannical. Tests on human beings shortly after conception have revealed human DNA. Any argument that a fetus is not a human being because it is still within the womb is based on political agrument, not science.
Sep 24 2010 1:47PM I believe the important thing here is that pharmacists are health care professionals and should be treated as such. Pharmacists have a vast amount of knowledge that helps them to form their conscience, especially when it comes to dispensing drugs that are harmful and go against their religious and moral convictions. So many of our rights and the ability to think and reason are being challenged and are being taken away. I urge the Pharmacy Board and all those involved to be considerate of the convictions of the health care professionals, the pharmacists and their assistants and please do not force them to dispense drugs such as Plan B and other abortifactients when it goes against their religious convictions and moral conscience to do so. Wasn't our country founded on freedom of religion? Thank you for consideration of my comments. Madonna Docken A voter and a previous health care professional
Sep 24 2010 3:21PM Medical Professionals should have the right and freedom to practice medicine in accordance with their consciences. To force a skilled licensed professional to forceably act against their will in order to maintain their position is tyranny and oppression. Jewish doctors were forced to sterilyze women in concentration camps or lose their lives. To many medical professionals, suicide is unacceptable treatment for human ills. Will pharmacists and pharmacies have to give pills that end life to people who insist they have a legal right to do so? So it is with Plan B and Ella One. Many medical professionals believe that administering those drugs could cause the end of a life in the womb. No one should be forced to participate, perform, refer or in any way help facilitate another person in an action that causes harm to humans. There are many other drug stores, family planning clinics and people who are willing to assist a woman in these situations. It is not necessary to force others to go against their wills.
Sep 24 2010 8:01PM Please protect the rights of conscience.
Sep 24 2010 10:42PM "I believe the Board of Pharmacy should compel all Washington pharmacies to provide full access to all medications prescribed by medical professionals. Access by patients is critical and should be mandated by the Board. Pharmacies and pharmacists should not be allowed to pick and choose which medications they will and will not carry, based on their beliefs and/or prejudices."
Sep 25 2010 1:51AM Please protect EVERYONES right of conscience. This not only includes the patient but also the health care provider.
Sep 25 2010 5:33AM No one should be forced to do something that violates their moral values. Not all pharmacies stock all drugs and medications available and pharmacists that have a moral objection to the Plan B drug shouldn't be forced to stock and dispense it. It is not like there are no alternatives, there are other drug stores nearby by that will fill those prescriptions. Sponsors of this bill are about Choice.....but don't want to allow the pharmacists a choice and that is wrong!
Sep 25 2010 11:04AM “Please protect the rights of conscience."
Sep 25 2010 3:59PM Please protect the rights of conscience. Targeting pharmacists for their beliefs, is unconstitutional and unnecessary. Many drugs are not stocked in pharmacies for business reasons sucn as Lovenox and Fragmin, which are life-saving medications. These low-molecular weight heparin drugs must be given to prevent possible death in patients with deep vein throbosis and pulmonary embolism. Yet, pharmacies cannot stock every drug for various reasons. Nor are pharmacists referral specialists. Pharmacists are the drug experts on the health care team. Plan B is not life-saving medication. It does not cure or treat a disease. When someone presents with a presecription for Plan B - there are potentially two patients involved: the mother and if it is post-fertilization a human blastocyst. Pharmacists pledge to do no harm. Participating in dispensing Plan B, a drug that prevents implantation of a human blastocyst, is participating in the taking of innocent human life. I went to college for six years in order to be a pharmacist. I became a pharmacist so I could help patients and aave lives, not so I could harm and kill them. I use the earnings I make from caring for patients to support my six children and husband. I am a dedicated pharmacist, I should not be forced out of this profession because the state of Washington, NASRAL and Planned Parenthood do not agree with my beliefs. My daughter and friends have expressed interest in becoming pharmacists. I have warned them that the state of Washington is hostile to practicing Catholics that are pharmacists. Pharmacists had to sue the Board of Pharmacy to protect their civil rights. I fear for the people of Washington if the only people who are allowed to become pharmacists are people who have no qualms about participating in the taking of innocent human life.
Sep 25 2010 4:50PM Yes, I strongly concur! Please provide conscience protection for pharmacists.
Sep 25 2010 8:49PM Please protect the right of conscience! Physicians and nurses are not required to perform against conscience----why make an exception regarding pharmacists?
Sep 25 2010 9:10PM Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in Washington should have the right to keep a clear conscience while performing their jobs.
Sep 25 2010 11:20PM I concur that the policy for forcing pharmacists to dispense drugs that can take a life that has only just begun, be absolutely overhauled. It gives me great hope & pride that we have pharmacists that still stand for their moral obligation to protect life. I will have to say, having them refer customers to other pharmacies that will dispense these deadly drugs is not ethically easy for them either, but at least they are not supplying the bullet. These conscientious pharmacists should be commended not forced to do something against their freedom to choose, loose business or close their business altogether.
Sep 26 2010 7:53AM (Board: If you received a previous version of ithis comment, please excuse my error -- this one is spell-checked.) It is my understanding that, as a Washington state government agency, your duty is to assure and protect the rights and opportunities of the citizens of Washington - presumably ALL the citizens, not just a special, well-funded few. This Board is charged with protecting the rights of Washington citizens to obtain the benefits of modern pharmacology without being hurt by charlatans, con-artists, and others who would sell snake oil instead of remedies; to facilitate the orders of physicians with the skill and care to required to protect against mistakes; to make clear what a physician might not have made clear, and to offer advice, explanation, and information that FACILITATES physicians directives. You implement your charge through your licensing rules and process. Simply stated, a pharmacist not willing to provide services to the public -- ALL members of the public -- consistent with the protections imbedded in your rules is not given the state's authorization to practice in Washington. She or he is free to practice in, say, another state or nation not devoted to the protection of each citizen's free exercise of all rights, but that pharmacist is not allowed to practice in Washington. Nowhere in the charter of this Board do I see a directive from the State that empowers the Board to issue pharmacist licenses permitting practitioners to (a) select who among the citizens of the state they wish to serve, (b) substitute his/her personal judgment for that of a citizen's physician, or (c) substitute his/her professional judgment for that of a citizen's physician without first double-checking the physician's order. The Board once before implemented its chartered authorities by negotiating between what a small group of licensed individuals claimed to be their right to exercise their religion, and the Board's duty to license only those professionals willing to provide for ALL the citizens of the state. As with all "successful" negotiations, neither the small group of religious objectors, nor the much larger group of the State's citizens were particularly happy with the outcome -- indeed, each gave up a substantial part of what each desired. But, of course, that "giving up" is what makes reasonable compromise work. In contrast, the Board's current action, succumbing to the loudest voice of the very few, those for whom compromise is, apparently, "for somebody else", is, and I apologize for my bluntness, a shameful dereliction of your duty to our citizens. Your willingness to serve only the personal rights of a select few, to the detriment of the rights of all other state citizens is, indeed, the antithesis of the licensing authority the state has granted to you. It is, indeed, shameful. My generation took from Joseph Heller the term "catch-22" as an indicator of a type of anti-human irony. Please do not assist the few, loud pharmacists and their wealthy, our-of-state religious-political backers in their attempt to subject the rest of the citizens of this state to their special, state sanctioned catch-22: if one is religious, one won't need a pharmacist's services, but if one is not religious, one can't get those services. Thank you.
Sep 26 2010 9:05AM We are writing to urge you to re-write the rules to fully protect pharmacists and pharmacy owners rights of conscience. As Americans we should have the right to NOT sell a product if we do not wish to do so, no matter what the reason, otherwise, we are no different than a dictatorship. We MUST keep our freedoms. Thank you for your time and consideration. Nick and Diana Ehrman
Sep 26 2010 10:33AM Please protect the rights of conscience.
Sep 26 2010 2:08PM I concur with amending the current rules to fully protect pharmacists and pharmacy owners' right of conscience. Pharmacists and pharmacy owners' should not be forced to stock and sell a product, especially when that product has the potential to terminate human life. Pharmacists should not have to choose between potentially terminating human life and losing their license to practice pharmacy (their livelihood).
Sep 26 2010 2:23PM To require pharmacists and pharmacy owners to violate their consciences to fill a perscription that is plainly designed to end a life, in or out of the womb, is in complete violation of The State of Washington revised code 48.43.065. No person should ever be required to choose between his or her beliefs and the desires of others. Science is finding more and more evidence to firmly conclude that a fetus growing inside a woman is a living human being. A BABY!
Sep 26 2010 2:36PM Please protect the rights of conscience. I urge you to rewrite the rules to protect pharmacists' right to act in conscience in making moral decisions.
Sep 26 2010 5:14PM I concur that the current rule should be amended to allow pharmacists not to dispense and pharmacy owners not to stock Plan B based on right of conscience.
Sep 26 2010 6:48PM It is un-American to require citizens to act in a way which assaults their consciences. Please allow pharmacists to decline to materially participate in the killing by abortion of the most vulnerable among us. Being forced to either violate one's conscience or abandon one's livelihood is an act of the worst sort of oppression. Thank you for this opportunity to be heard.
Sep 26 2010 7:30PM Please help protect the rights here. As a medical pracatitioner I can not imagine having a choice like this taken away. It may be difficult for pharmacists to continue the good they do.
Sep 26 2010 7:55PM Fact: pharmacies don't carry every drug. I personally have to to clear across town to get one of my meds. Been that way for the 10+ years I've been on that medication. And that is for a drug that I need every single day. But to legislate that all pharmacies be forced to carry a drug that is only used rarely...? Must be good to be the manufacturer, when you get the state to help ensure your product is in every store.
Sep 26 2010 8:09PM Please allow pharmacists the very basic right of conscience that any one of us have. Please don't let convenience trample over our constitutional rights. What would come next? Access to medication is not the issue here. No other professionals must face this, why must pharmacists? Thank you for revisiting the rules.
Sep 26 2010 8:15PM Please allow pharmacists the very basic right of conscience that any one of us have. Please don't let convenience trample over our constitutional rights. What would come next? Access to medication is not the issue here. No other professionals must face this, why must pharmacists? Thank you for revisiting the rules.
Sep 26 2010 8:19PM Pharmacists have right too. Pharmacists are people. Let us never forget that.
Sep 26 2010 8:30PM The Pharmacy Board strongly needs to take into account, and open their eyes to the reality of our dramatic OVERpopulation the world consists of, and suffers from, for decades now. Pharmacists have a job which is NOT to include their personal belief and/or prejudice. PPP: Prescribed Pills Permitted. Opinion is not to be [permitted].
Sep 26 2010 9:05PM I request that the Board consider that the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United State reads: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances". I understand that as the supreme law of the land, the Constitution of the United State applies to state and local government as well. For many pharmacists, the decision not to dispense the product "Plan B" and Ella, is the exercise of their religious conviction not to dispense a drug that ends human life, a right guaranteed by the First Amendment. It is a freedom.I understand that a woman's right to choose to terminate her pregnancy is well established law. I believe providing pharmacists the ability to refer patients to nearby providers of Plan B and / or Ella as a matter of personal conscience, or the exercise of their religion, represents a reasonable reconciliation and accommodation of two potentially competing or conflicting constitutional rights. Accordingly, I urge the Board to enact a rule to allow phamacists and pharmacies to consciously object to dispensing Plan B, Ella or any other drug that would cause them to violate their religious convictions if dispensed, and to refer the patient to another pharmacist or pharmacy. Thank you. Susan B. Sloan
Sep 26 2010 9:34PM I concur with need for review. All of us in the health professions bring a personal set of priorities, beliefs,training, and convictions that inform our conscience and impact our professional decision-making and performance. These all involve "religious" ideas and sentiments regardless of any particular attachment, or lack of it, to any established institution of religion. To force a health professional to act in violation of his or her conscience is a dangerous assault on personal freedom guaranteed by the First Amendment to the US Constitution. Furthermore, imposition of a duty to prescribe or dispense, or to refer for such services, against the ethical standards and professional judgement of a health professional is an intrusion by the governing board into the professional covenantal relationship between the professional and the client or patient. While standards of professional behavior are needed to establish licensing criteria for the benefit and protection of the public, imposition of requirements to provide services against the conscience and ethical standards of health professionals is an unnecessary infringemnt of the personal rights of the professional for the sake of the personal desires and felt needs of the patient. Crossing this line of regulatory imposition will result in less access - not more - to professional services as it will set a precedent that will discourage qualified individuals with integrity and high ethical standards from careers in the health professions. This will effect access not only to pharmacist services but also to the services of other health professions. The issues of abortion (prescription of abortifacients) relate as well to physician-assisted suicide ( so-called "aid in dying"), and potentially to any health issue in which the ethical standards of one health professional may conflict may conflict with those of another, or with the demands of the patient. Additionally, it is a false proposition to ethically "sanitize" the prescription of medications with abortifacient potential by redefining pregnancy and contraception to attempt to overcome the ethical objections to these drugs. The presumption of a viable conceptus is the only reason for drugs such as Plan B and Ella to be developed which have the clear intention of interrupting the subsequent steps that would result in a fully developed human being. Thank you for the opportunity to comment.
Sep 26 2010 10:25PM Thank you for re-visiting the rules for pharmacists. Please re-write the rules to fully protect pharmacists and pharmacy owners’ rights of conscience. Please, protect the rights of conscience! Thank you.
Sep 26 2010 10:58PM Please re-write the rules to fully protect pharmacists and pharmacy owners’ rights of conscience. Please, protect the rights of conscience! Thank you.
Sep 26 2010 11:00PM Please re-write the rules to fully protect pharmacists and pharmacy owners’ rights of conscience. Please, protect the rights of conscience! Thank you.
Sep 26 2010 11:43PM Please protect the rights of conscience.
Sep 27 2010 5:50AM Please protect the rights of a pharmacist to use their conscience in distributing pharmacy products. To revoke their decision making would be a travesty and we will only lose good pharmacies over what has become a politicized agenda. Pharmacists should have the right to use their judgement in the distribution of medication, they are the closest to the end user and this will in no way prevent all medications from being available some where else if it's such a good product, but will protect many if the pharmacist can knowing withhold medication availability if they believe it is dangerous for whatever reason. It will be a travesty to all pharmacies if the government forces them to operate their business without their conscience in place. It is unfathomable to me that anyone would think this is a good idea.
Sep 27 2010 8:38AM Please protect the rights of conscience. If these rights are not protected, the rights of other health care persons will also be removed by similar actions. We are granted our rights of conscience by the Constitution. L C Nugent, MN RN
Sep 27 2010 8:40AM Forcing a pharmacy to dispense products that "violate their conscience" is not a precedent we want to establish. An independent business of any type should not be forced to sell products they do not wish to sell. Would we really want to see all stores selling magazines also be forced to sell adult magazines? Should all stores selling video games be forced to sell hard core, violent videos? The bottom line question is this. Should a retail business owner be free to sell whatever he/she wishes to sell? Let them make the choice. If they lose business because of their choices, so be it. That's the way it's always been in America and that's the way it should always be.
Sep 27 2010 8:51AM
Sep 27 2010 9:01AM Please protect the rights of consciencce
Sep 27 2010 10:47AM Please protect the rights of conscience. No employer should be able to force anyone to perform actions against their personal moral standing. You should not have to choose between your conscience and your job.
Sep 27 2010 11:22AM Pharmacist, indeed all health care personnel, must have the right to follow their concscience as it is formed by their religious or ethical code. To deny this right would put them in the position of being materialially complicit in a grave moral evil.
Sep 27 2010 12:16PM Please protect the rights of conscience. Thank you.
Sep 27 2010 12:45PM I believe that a person's conscience is something that cannot nor should not be coerced by law. Pro-abotion activists use this same argument to allow women to make their personal choice but they want to coerce pharmicists to have provide things to help a woman have an abortion even if that pharmicists is pro-life? Doesn't that seem like a double standard? I'm sure there are enough pharmicists - as there are doctors who will provide these things voluntarily without legislating that all must do it. That smacks of totalitarianism to me.
Sep 27 2010 2:42PM The current rules protect separation of church and state. Do not allow religious zealots to dictate board policies.
Sep 27 2010 4:01PM I support the existing Board of Pharmacy Rule. The current rule both respects personal beliefs of individual pharmacitsts while ensuring that patients’ needs are met. I am disappointed that at this time of crisis in our budget that the Board of Pharmacy would spend taxpayer dollars to revisit this rule. Please please make sure that pharmacies continue to be required to fill prescriptions on-site and on-time.
Sep 27 2010 4:46PM I am appalled that there are some who deisre to impose their will that those who want to live by their conscience cannot be full members of society. This is called tyrrany, even if by majority rule, in which case it is systemic or "mob" tyrrany. They say that if you are not pro-abortion, then you cannot be a member of professional soceity, especially the field of medicine. Just read the bigotted and hate-filled comments that have been posted! They claim to be standing up for the rights of others, all while trampling on the rights of others to freely live by their conscience. If people of differing opinions, including people of faith, cannot be allowed to be full members of society because their strongly held centuries old beliefs which have withstood the test of millenia, are not popular, then we are going the way of Nazi Germany: we are not welcome here. How is this Ameircan Freedom? If there can no longer be conscientious objectors, then we live in a totalitarian system, and everyone's personal freedoms are subject to the will of those who hold power. I know several medical professionals who feel hamstrung and afraid to speak out, because their religious views on the dignity of all human life from conception to natural death are seen as outside of the "mainstream." If they are so outside the mainstream, then what is the mad rush...it seems these drugs are already readily available. If medical professionals are compelled today to dispence Plan B, will they also be required to dispense medication for doctor assisted suicide? how about for euthanasia, which the Hemlock Society wants next? What about the professor at Princeton who said that mentally handicapped people should be euthanized? What if someone refuses to cooperate with that, if and when it becomes legal? If the goverment is forcing doctors to act against their will, how does this affect the trust relationship between provider and patient? This is how Germany arrived at the Gas Ovens....how can we even consider going down this path. Please read "The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide" by Robert Jay Lifton (Paperback - Aug 2000): available on Amazon. A conscientious objector should not be required to refer for medical procedures, of whatever sort, that violate their conscience, especially when it is a matter of life and death, whether or not that understanding is influenced by religion or not (there are many people of no faith that believe abortion & suicide are wrong too, we forget that somethimes): ie, they should not be required to dispense nor to refer for abortifacient drugs and suicide/euthansia drugs.
Sep 27 2010 6:30PM The Washinton State Board of Pharmacy should absolutely require that all Washington pharmacies provide access to all medications dispensed by medical professionals. Pharmacists should absolutely NOT be allowed to substitute their moral judgement for the medical judgement of a professional to whom the state has granted prescriptive authority. If pharmacists believe that certain medications should not be prescribed to certain people, they are welcome to either attend medical school and run their practice accordingly or purse a change in the law during the next legislative session. Until then, if the medication is legally prescribed by someone who as the legal authority to do so, the pharmacy should be legally obligated to fill it.
Sep 27 2010 9:52PM Thank you for taking my comments on the pending regulations regarding the rewriting of your rules which provides for the protection of pharmacist's and pharmacy's right not to dispense or provide Plan B and Ella. As a career public school educator who has taught and defended the principle of the protection of every citizen's right not to violate one's conscience, I plead with the Board to allow for rules that protect these fundamental rights. Furthermore as a strong defender of our American system of Free Enterprise I encourage your rules to accommodate the right of a Pharmacy to refrain from selling products which violate their conscientious objections. As has been mentioned by other respondents, "The government should accommodate and protect the fundamental rights of all citizens, not punish some citizens because of their religious beliefs." Thank you for your service to our State.
Sep 27 2010 9:55PM Thank you so much for re-visiting the rules regarding to respect the conscience and values of the Pharmacist while dispensing medication. The respect of each person's principles should be part of the freedom rights that our USA so much values and defends. Please, do not let these hard working employees to come to the hard situation to choose between their job and their believes. You would not want to be in that situation neither.As a trained physician in Mexico, we make the Hippocratic oath: The first principle is not damage or kill any human life. We have to be accountable to that moral and religious commitment. May the Lord of peace and joy guide you and bless you and your family always. Gina
Sep 27 2010 9:56PM In the free market system, business owners should have full control over the products they choose to stock and sell. The government's role in business is to make sure the products that are sold are safe for the public, hence the FDA regulations. Pharmacies are no different from any other business; pharmacists should have total control over the drugs they choose to stock and sell. When consumers go to buy a certain drug, they are able to freely choose the pharmacy that has the best price for the product they desire. If there is a high enough demand for products such as Plan B, there will very quickly be (and there already are) enough pharmacies to supply the demand. The government should NEVER regulate the type and number of products which an independent business sells; that is not its role. Pharmacists, as suppliers, have the same right to the use of their conscience in business decisions as any other supplier or consumer. Please rewrite the rules to fully protect the rights of conscience for pharmacists and pharmacy owners.
Sep 27 2010 11:42PM I agree with conscience rights of every individual in every profession. Action against the conscience of an individual is an intrusion of their liberty and freedom. We should not force individuals to go against their good moral beliefs when in doing so would cause grief, guilt, and trauma. My husband still lives with the trauma of participating in an abortion in Medical school, in which he was never told what was taking place, but had to follow the instructor. He prays for that little soul everyday and wishes he would have known in order to have the chance of walking out. It has been fifteen years since it occurs and he still feels the pain. Let us not be barbaric and force our pharmacist, who are there to help us heal, do things that would create pain and guilt in there lives. There are other options just around the corner and across the street where people can take their business. I have many family members in the medical profession whom feel the same way. Please help keep conscience laws and freedom alive.
Sep 28 2010 7:42AM Please support the right of conscience. It is fundatmental to our society. It is protected in the Washington state constitution. If pharmacists believe they could be taking a life by proscribing a drug, please don't force them to give up their profession or violate their sincerely held beliefs. Please allow them refer the patient to another nearby provider. These are professionals and they can responsibly make such decisions. Don't allow politics to intrude into the pharmacy profession. Thank you for considering this reasonable change to the rules.
Sep 28 2010 8:49AM We all have the right to life, from God, and from our Constitution. There should be somewhere these people in crisis can go for counseling before taking such a step - to end the pregnancy. Thank you and God bless you in your decision.
Sep 28 2010 10:30AM We want to thank and support the Board of Pharmacy for re-visiting the rules. We urge to Board to re-write the rules to fully protect pharmacists and pharmacy owners’ rights of conscience Please protect the rights of conscience.
Sep 28 2010 11:27AM I srongly support the right of pharmicists and pharmacy owners to act in conformity to their conscience in filling prescriptions and stocking medications. In my experience not all pharmacies stock every medication. I lived in a rural area with one pharmacy and had to wait a day or so for some medications. The coercion of a person to violate the conscience is not justifiable. Protect this precious right of pharmicists and pharmacy owners to act according to their moral beliefs.
Sep 28 2010 11:32AM YES, conscience supporters should CONCUR with amending the current rules in order not to prescribe any medicine which would go against their conscience.
Sep 28 2010 11:36AM I feel like this other comment saying "I feel that pharmacists should not have to provide abortifacients if it is against their conscience. There are plenty of other pharmacies that will do so. There is no "right" to abortion and forcing pharmacists to provide abortifacients is just another way for pro choice people, such as our govenor, to force others to support this unconscienable act."
Sep 28 2010 11:39AM I assume that the "YES" above is in support of the amendment. There is not a clear statement on what the yes/no is for. Please see below. I urge everyone to support the amendment rules that allow pharmacists to refer customers to other businesses if the drug is against the conscience of that pharmacist to dispense.
Sep 28 2010 12:59PM I thoroughly agree that we must "...protect the rights of pharmists conscience". The greedom we fought for gives each of us the right to personally make moral decisions. This special conscience 'right' should never be taken away from anyone, especially now the pharmacists. We must restore this pharmist right and not put their conscience in jeopardy.
Sep 28 2010 1:31PM Thank you for supporting our pharmacists and pharmacy owners by revisiting these rules. Please fully protect their rights of conscience.
Sep 28 2010 3:10PM It is already WA state law that no one is forced at act against their conscience in the workplace. As a nurse, I will never be forced to perform an abortion. I do not think that Pharmacists should be forced to do so either. There are so many easily accessible places for people to obtain the Plan B medications... much easier than going to the neighborhood pharmacist... I would not want to see my fellow professionals unable to provide for their families and earn a living because of the bias of a select few towards abortion. By putting in place room for objections of conscience, you also make a place for pharmacists who do not want to provide drugs for euthanasia as well... Thus serving a dual purpose and hopefully avoiding future problems. Please consider including a right to conscientious objection in the rules that you are amending. It is the right thing to do. Thank You, Patricia Schaut RNC
Sep 28 2010 3:16PM Please protect the rights of the pharmacist to be able to choose which medications they want to dispense. Thank you.
Sep 28 2010 3:18PM I am glad that the Board of Pharmacy is revisiting the rules regarding "Plan B referrals." The abortion debate has been a constant in our public life for more than forty years. The argument usually invokes the rights of conscience. Many people who disapprove of abortion nonetheless believe it should be legal because they think that a woman's right to follow her conscience should be respected. Whatever the merits of that argument, those who make it should also respect the rights of conscience of medical workers. If a pharmacist refuses to provide the "Plan B" pill, this may cause some inconvenience to a woman but will not prevent her from obtaining it. Some inconvenience is a small price to pay for protecting the more basic and much broader good of freedom of conscience. No one, I hope, would oblige a physician to participate in capital punishment despite moral objections to doing so. Those pharmacists who believe that an individual human life begins at conception are placed in a similar situation if obliged to dispense the pill in question. Moreover, this is not simply a religious or moral belief but a biological one, as any pertinent science text will confirm. Please respect the conscience rights of all. Thank you.
Sep 28 2010 3:32PM Refusals to provide health care -- even accompanied by a referral to a different pharmacy -- will harm many patients, especially those who live in isolated areas, have disabilities or language barriers, have suffered from sexual assault or other trauma, or whose insurance is not transferable. It is always better to be served at the pharmacy instead of being referred to a different pharmacy.
Sep 28 2010 3:47PM It is a pharmacist's job to provide patients with appropriate medications, not to pass judgement on them. Allowing pharmacists to withhold medications of which they do not approve places an unreasonable hardship on the most vulnerable among us - people who lack transportation, or perhaps have language or mental health barriers or have already suffered trauma.
Sep 28 2010 3:59PM I am commenting here because I cannot attend a hearing on this matter. The fact that my schedule does not allow my physical presence should not indicate that I do not feel strongly about this issue. It is vital that every person is able to fill any lawful prescription at a pharmacy in Washington. The option of referring someone to another pharmacy for a prescription is no option at all. I have a friend who, even after taking responsible precautions, had to get the "morning after" pill from a pharmacy. Her experience with the disrespectful pharmacist humiliated her in a time when she needed patience and respect the most. It also lost her valuable time, and she had to take additional measures after the pill did not work. Sending someone away is not providing care, it is refusing care.
Sep 28 2010 4:42PM Refusals to provide health care -- even accompanied by a referral to a different pharmacy -- will harm many patients, especially those who live in isolated areas, have disabilities or language barriers, have suffered from sexual assault or other trauma, or whose insurance is not transferable. It is always better to be served at the pharmacy instead of being referred to a different pharmacy.
Sep 28 2010 4:48PM As Director of Operations of Cedar River Clinics, Renton, Tacoma, and Yakima, I have witnessed the struggles and frustrations of Washington State women when they are confronted with unnecessary barriers to health care. I strongly support the existing rule that ensures that patients have access to their needed medications. One person’s religious views should never take priority over another person’s right to access prescription care. All patients deserve access to ALL medications at their local pharmacy; don’t create barriers to prescriptive care. Refusal to provide health care on any level will harm patients. I urge you to keep the current rule and protect the rights of all patients who are in need of pharmacy medications.
Sep 28 2010 6:04PM I concur with the Board's reconsideration of inclusion of a conscience clause which would allow WA state pharmacists to not be forced to fill prescription for or to carry any products to which they have moral objection. The same procedure for nonstocked inventory should apply: the pharmacy and/or pharmacist would provide the inquirying patient with a list of nearby pharmacies (that may carry the requested product.)They should not be required to directly refer the patient to the product, as it would then require indirect participation in the process to which they morally object. The United States of America has a long-standing history of protection and commitment to protect the consicence rights of each and every citizen. Numerous federal laws recognize and protect those rights.WA state should honor this, as we had for many years here. The right of a consiencous objection to particpate in something that is morally objectionable, based on one's religious and moral beliefs is foundational within our society both in military and in public business workplace. Please reinstate the clause necessary to protect the right of conscience of every individual, in this case the pharmacist and his or her pharmacy. Additionally, under the commerce clause, government agencies may not dictate what choice of (legal) products a businees stocks or does not stock in their operation. Choosing to not stock Plan B or similar procust does not jeopordize the health of that patient. She is, rather, inconvenienced to find the product elsewhere. However, based on recent deaths related to side effects of products such as Plan B, one may claim the woman's life is in some degree of jeopardy, if she takes the product. The pharmacist and pharmacy who sell it are at possible risk for legal recourse, if she dies. The additonal person in grave jeopardy is the woman's recently-conceived unborn chid, who would normally implant in her womb, if she would allow it to not be repelled by chemicals and risky hormones designed to prevent implantaion.(interrupt the pregnancy) As a parent of three adopted children,(who are now teenagers) I recommend adoption, not abortion, not Plan B. Let us help these young women in crisis pregnancy, not look the other way while they make a decision that increases risk and damage to their life, their health and their mental well-being. Thank you. Jill Lagergren
Sep 28 2010 6:23PM The idea that this rule is a violation of religious liberty is ridiculous. Nobody forces religious extremists to become pharmacists. They are only limited in their religious expression due to *their choice* of professions. In contrast, a rape victim who needs emergency contraception did not choose to be in that position. If we have to sacrifice one of those people's rights, we should protect the person who is not responsible for the predicament they suffer. Nobody has the *right* to have a particular job (i.e., religious conservatives do not have the right to be pharmacists). By analogy, my moral position is that I will never kill another human being. That is why I would never enlist in the military. It would be asinine to enlist in the military, get paid to kill enemy combatants, and then say "Oh, sorry! Can't do my job, it's against my morals." Expressing one's own conscience is fine, until the point where acting on that moral belief risks other people's safety. If pharmacists want to be anti-contraception on their own time, that's just fine. I'm perfectly entitled to criticize ignorant religious extremists in my free time. However, if I live in a rural area, where I own the only grocery store for a hundred miles, and a religious extremist comes to my store on the verge of starvation, I should sell him food, no matter how much I disagree with his life-choices. Would anyone support a governmental rule explicitly empowering me to let him starve to death? The analogy to draft-dodgers is stupid. People who refused to sign up for the draft were willing to suffer the consequences: jail or loss of the ability to live in the USA. These pharmacists want to have their cake and eat it too. They want to be conscientious objectors, but expect the government to protect them from the consequences. Allowing pharmacists to refuse to do their job will cause enormous hardship to sick people in rural communities, people who don't speak English, people who are disabled, people who don't have cars, teenagers, rape victims, incest victims, HIV patients, people who don't have much free time, victims of domestic violence, and any number of other groups. Those vulnerable groups are more deserving of protection than are ultra-conservative religious extremists.
Sep 28 2010 6:35PM Keep the existing rule Refusals hurt real women – I know, because I am an employee at Cedar River Clinics, where we do primarly abortions in addition to various well woman services. There should never be a barrier between women and their prescribed medications. Refusals; even accompanied by a referral to a different pharmacy harms patients. What about the women who who live in isolated area, have disabilities or language barriers, have suffered from sexual assault or other trauma, or whose insurance is not transferable. Sometimes just getting to the first pharmacy is difficult enough; going to a referred pharmacy can sometimes be an impossible task causing women not to receive their medications and possibly harming their health. Please keep the existing rule!
Sep 28 2010 7:08PM Please continue to protect patients’ access to lawfully prescribed medication. Refusals to provide health care -- even accompanied by a referral to a different pharmacy -- will harm many patients, especially those who live in isolated areas, have disabilities or language barriers, have suffered from sexual assault or other trauma, or whose insurance is not transferable. It is always better to be served at the pharmacy instead of being referred to a different pharmacy.
Sep 28 2010 7:12PM It is unconscionable to let pharmacists decide whether or not to fill a prescription!! Please remember that we are talking about a LEGAL drug. Why is it the only one being targeted? This is outrageous, not to mention sexist. Washington state is known for its progressiveness and its support for women. PLEASE do not make us start backsliding on these values.
Sep 28 2010 7:20PM Washington state has a long history of supporting women's rights. PLEASE do not take this huge step backward. Why is it only this drug that is being targeted? If pharmacists cannot fill a doctor's prescription, they have chosen the wrong career. It is absolutely an outrage to make a woman shop around during what is already a stressful time to find a pharmacy that will fill her prescription. If a pharmacy wants to hire someone who will refuse to fill certain prescriptions, it is that pharmacy's responsibility to also have a pharmacist on duty who will fill them.
Sep 28 2010 7:22PM Preserve our rights! Pharmacists have one job: to fill prescriptions. If they cannot do this, they should be let go.
Sep 28 2010 8:05PM If a person goes to a Chevrolet dealership and demands Ford parts, do you think he/she will get any? NO! Should there be judgement passed on the Chevrolet dealer? NO! The legislator that wanted to close down a pharmacy for not carrying the morning after pill rationalized his view because he said it would create hardship for women who wanted the pill. Well, if the pharmacy were closed down, wouldn't it create hardship for all the regular customers of the pharmacy? What about owners being able to exercise their values in their places of business? Then - the governor advised people of Olympia to not patronize the store in which the pharmacy was located. Just politicians trying to gain political advantage, rather than governing. Give us a break. Do what's right.
Sep 28 2010 8:26PM I believe it is professionally irresponsible to deny medications based upon personal prejudice. The Board should require full access to prescribed medication.
Sep 28 2010 9:27PM When I was in the ninth grade, I lived in a small town in Maine and three girls in the eight grade got pregnant. Regardless of whether the cause was rape, incest or unprotected sex, each girl/young woman should have had access to the medical care that she needed. Flash forward thirty years and three thousand miles and I am startled to be looking at the same issue with the same impact; radically altered lives. Access to medical treatment should be as simple and as direct as possible for each and everyone of us. This rule is no exception. Please re-instate it and maintain your great record of keeping the Washington safe and healthy.
Sep 28 2010 10:23PM Refusals to provide health care -- even accompanied by a referral to a different pharmacy -- will harm many patients, especially those who live in isolated areas, have disabilities or language barriers, have suffered from sexual assault or other trauma, or whose insurance is not transferable. It is always better to be served at the pharmacy instead of being referred to a different pharmacy.
Sep 28 2010 10:55PM Referral to other pharmacies will harm many patients, especially those who lack transportation, are in isolated areas, have disabilities, have suffered from sexual assault or other trauma, or whose insurance is not transferable. The best outcome for a patient is to have his or her medication needs met on site and in timely manner. I urge the board of pharmacy to keep the existing rule.  Any changes will severely threaten patient access to needed medications.
Sep 28 2010 11:00PM Everyone has a right to honor their conscience with action that harms no one. There is no precedent that requires someone to act against their conscience. Simply, requiring a pharmacist to dispense drugs, for which they have moral objection, is absurd. I fail to see any harm to the public by directing them to another pharmacy that would fulfill their need. And the drugs are readily available. I believe that the Washington State Board of Pharmacy should not require Pharmacists to dispense drugs if the Pharmacist has a moral objection. It is the right thing to do and the right path to take.
Sep 29 2010 12:21AM All legally prescribed medications should be obtainable on payment without discrimination or intimidation.
Sep 29 2010 7:09AM Refusals to provide health care -- even accompanied by a referral to a different pharmacy -- will harm many patients, especially those who live in isolated areas, have disabilities or language barriers, have suffered from sexual assault or other trauma, or whose insurance is not transferable. It is always better to be served at the pharmacy instead of being referred to a different pharmacy.
Sep 29 2010 9:26AM Original Hypocratic oath ...I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy. In purity and holiness I will guard my life and my art.... Pharmacist's SHOULD NOT have to give out abortifacient medicine
Sep 29 2010 9:35AM Testimony on CR101 Board of Pharmacy September 29, 2010 Good afternoon, Chairman and members of the Board, my name is Sister Sharon Park and I am the Executive Director of the Washington State Catholic Conference, which represents the Catholic Bishops of the State of Washington on issues of public policy. Today as you decide whether to amend the present law on the dispensing of medications, I would like to focus my remarks on the exercise of conscience. In our Catholic tradition we teach that each person has an obligation to form his or her conscience and then to follow it. An individual’s conscience is the faculty by which one discerns what is right from what is wrong. Cooperation in what one judges an immoral act cannot be justified--- even when civil law requires it. While the broad principles we affirm come from a “faith based” foundation, the rights we assert are grounded in this country’s secular constitutional tradition. Both the US Constitution and the Washington State Constitution recognize the free exercise of religion as a fundamental right. The state and its entities must protect a person from compulsion to act in ways that contradict his or her religious and moral values. Individuals do not lose their civil right to exercise their conscience once they enter the healthcare professions. Some suggest that once a doctor has written a prescription it is not the place of the pharmacist to object. But one’s occupation does not define our morality. Rather, one’s moral code defines how one approaches one's occupation. A person’s religious and moral conviction does not make them less qualified to provide health care; rather it is a priceless source of social integrity and responsibility. Forcing people to choose between conscience and adherence to civil law is not the American way. We believe that people can live together in a pluralistic society. Thus, we have a body of constitutional law that has protected the right to act in accord with one’s conscience. We ask that you respect the religious freedom established by our founders and not force individuals to violate their consciences. Thank you.
Sep 29 2010 9:49AM Americans are blessed to live in a country where life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are enshrined. Liberty is an important word - liberty which frees us from despotic rules so that people may follow their conscience and not be forced to do something that is against their moral principles. The killing of a preborn child so that its unwilling mother and/or father can "get on with life" is an objective evil and can never be condoned. It doesn't matter if a child is the product of rape or incest. Aborting the child just compounds the pain and evil. Adoption is a loving, generous option to killing an unwanted human being and member of our race.
Sep 29 2010 10:19AM I would have liked to present my argument to the board today, but I usually have to work and am confined to bed by the flu. In any case, I oppose forcing any private party to carry medications for any and all reasons. The current concerns are about the "morning after pill". As a culture we have been pursuing consequence free sex. Let us suppose suicide becomes socially acceptable, will we then force pharmacists to make death pills available. This is a current trend. It is not whether people should be denied medication for real health needs. If I am in business, I expect the state to regulate whether I have competent, safe employees, and that my premises do not provide a health or safety hazard. Beyond that I should be allowed to operate my business. The state should not be in the business of supervising whether certain drugs are available where. What if I only want to sell cancer medications. Should I be forced to carry runny nose medicine. Let those who are currently disposed to such things keep a list of pharmacies that make morning after pills available. There was controversy about even licensing this with the FDA, why are we trying to force people to choose between having a business and closing to keep from being forced to violate their conscience? Or if you cannot find enough rationale for PRIVATE pharmacies, close them all and make it a state function. Socialism means control.
Sep 29 2010 12:42PM Please Protect the rights of concience for pharmacists and pharmacy owners
Sep 29 2010 3:43PM I believe that pharmacists should be free to excercise their right of conscience with regard to dispensing certin types of medications.
Sep 29 2010 8:09PM Please protect pharmacists and pharmacy owners' rights of conscience. Important facts about specific medications are not always known at the time they are prescribed. I am thankful that my pharmacist is there for me and may be more aware of the potential ill-effects of a medication than my doctor and I, combined. This is not to denigrate doctors -- who are laboring under the unnecessarily byzantine demands of today's healthcare system. (Just ask any doctor.. It is more difficult today than ever before for healthcare providers to spend adequate time getting to know their patient's needs while also trying to master the on- and off-label uses for new medications coming into the market at any given time -- concurrently with patients approaching them with "knowledge" from watching tv commercials for medications to cure whatever ails them.) For example, consider a Mayo Clinic study showing that women who use a hormonal contraceptive for a minimum of four years prior to their first full term pregnancy have a 52% higher risk of developing breast cancer. Are all women receiving this prescription made aware of this fact? Should a pharmacist be forced to violate her own conscience by prescribing something that, in this example, she knows to have clinically-proven harmful effects for over half of long-term patients, not to mention known abortafacient side-effects that, standing alone, prevent many pharmacists from prescribing such drugs in good conscience? Consider also the increasing number of drugs thought to be completely safe which are later found to be dangerous -- even deadly. Given the nature of drug marketing and delivery today, an informed pharmacist who cannot fill a prescription for reasons of conscience may very well be the canary in the mineshaft for overburdened doctors and uninformed patients. For these reasons and many others cited in the comments, I urge you to protect pharmacists and pharmacy owners' rights of conscience. To do otherwise would create unnecessary risks for our public health. Thank you for your consideration.
Sep 30 2010 8:15AM Please protect pharmacists freedom and right to act in conscience.
Sep 30 2010 10:35AM Timeliness of dispensing a lifesaving medicine is not a true concern. I am an Urgent Care physician in Wenatchee, WA. I spoke at the Sept 29th pharmacy board meeting in Kent. I did not have time to mention timeliness. I want to assure you that I would never let a patient leave my office without treatment in the office if they needed a medicine within 12 hours or face a dangerous complication from not obtaining it. If it is a life threatening infection, I admit them to the hospital. If it is anaphylaxis, I treat them with epinephrine, antihistamines, and steroids in my clinic and then observe them in the clinic until they are out of danger. They don’t need to obtain an Epipen that day. I give new diabetics their first dose of insulin (if I don’t admit them) and they likely are seen again the next day before their long term insulin is prescribed. I cannot imagine that any provider would send a patient out knowing that had to get a medicine immediately or be at risk of harm. Such issues need not lead you to force a pharmacist to provide Plan B or other socially charged medicines. The pharmacy board cannot efficiently ensure every person who wants Plan B can get it when they want it. Most are going to want it right after the sexual encounter, not later. If it is 1 AM in the small town, are we going to have a regulation saying the pharmacist has to open his store? Small towns can’t afford a 24 hour pharmacy. Should the state mandate a pharmacy exist in isolated communities such as Stehekin? People who live in small towns (as I did growing up) know they have to go to the big town to get certain supplies so they plan ahead. You can only do so much as a board and then you have to rely on the citizens to be responsible for their care to some degree. The patient can call before they go to a pharmacy to make sure Plan B, or any other medicine is available. The patient who needs an Epipen for a peanut allergy, bee stings etc., knows they are to have it at all times. If they are having a reaction, they are supposed to go to the ER and not the pharmacy. If a patient is harassed by a pharmacist, you already have the rules to reprimand them. If you put restrictions on the right of conscience, I am afraid we may see the only pharmacy in small towns close down leading to no pharmacy for easy access to even basic medicines because a few vocal people wanted Plan B available everywhere immediately. Since private pharmacies should not have to stock Plan B and most cannot be open 24 hours, if Planned Parenthood truly wants to make sure that a citizen can get Plan B almost anywhere at almost any time, the law needs to be changed so it can be sold at 24 hour minimarts instead of only from behind the pharmacy counter. Not every town can support a pharmacy 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. People need to think ahead, be prepared, use regular birth control and buy Plan B to have on hand if they know they have limited access. This is part of basic personal responsibility that should be expected of people without pharmacists having to rescue them at the cost of violating their conscience. Another option would be for Planned Parenthood to have a person on emergency call to provide Plan B in the areas where the pharmacies aren’t meeting Planned Parenthood's expectations. Please revise the rules to not force pharmacies or pharmacists to stock, dispense, or provide facilitated referrals for any medication against their conscience. To do otherwise may put many citizens at risk of not have basic pharmacy services.
Sep 30 2010 3:33PM Why should the washington state board of pharmacy deprive others of their basic right to practice religion and compel local pharmacist to corrupt their morals? Choice to practice religion is one of our basic rights. Please don't let political lobbying control how we should live our lives. People are misinformed of the real issue. Plan B or other abortion drugs are available, via internet or other resources (hospitals for real emergency needs). please spare us the drama and order your supplies ahead of time. I'm sure overnight deliveries are available.
Sep 30 2010 6:48PM It's terrifying to think of what kind of a precedent this decision could set for the future. Do we want a government that forces us to act against our conscience? What if it was another issue besides abortion next time--something that our own conscience could not agree with? If one is pro-choice regarding abortion, should one not be even more fervently pro-choice in regards to the right to act according to one's conscience? In 2006, the WA State Board of Pharmacy proposed rules that would protect the right of conscience. What changed? Both the US Constitution and the Washington State Constitution recognize the free exercise of religion (which would include following the dictates of ones conscience) as a fundamental right. The drugs that people are currently concerned about would still be available at the majority of pharmacies, since they are legal. It would only be a minority of pharmacists who would choose not to stock those drugs. Other businesses are free to choose what items to stock and what not to stock - at least for now. What will this government think of controlling next? Pro-choice? - yes - Free to choose according to one's conscience in all matters, whether one is pro-abortion or not.
Sep 30 2010 8:41PM Please protect the rights of conscience. Thank you.
Sep 30 2010 9:52PM I believe pharmacists have the right of conscience. They are human beings that have to answer to themselves, as does everyone in every profession. No person should have to violate their conscience, as a rule, to stay in their profession. As a matter of fact, anyone who requires another to violate their conscience could be accused of harassment.
Sep 30 2010 10:19PM AS A PHYSICIAN THIS IS EXTREMELY CONCERNING TO ME. THE FDA APPROVED MEDICATION I PRESCRIBE TO MY PATIENT SHOULD NOT BE DENIED BY SOMEONE THAT IS NOT LICENSED OR TRAINED TO DO SO. IF A PHARMACIST IS UNCOMFORTABLE PRESCRIBING CERTAIN MEDICINES, THEY SHOULD GET ANOTHER JOB WHERE THEY ARE NOT NEGATIVELY AFFECTING PATIENT'S CARE.
Oct 1 2010 11:35AM Dear Pharmacy Board: You received testimony regarding our disapproval of changing WACS related to refusal clause policies at your hearing in Renton. The Washington State National Organization for Women support's a woman's right to birth control and advocates for laws and policies that ensure immediate, in-store access to birth control and non discrimination. Policies that prohibit pharmacies from denying women access to birth control is a guarantee not to discriminate against customers. NOW opposes all state and federal refusal clause legislation that allows for birth control to be refused on the basis of "personal or moral beliefs" without accommodation immediately for in-store access to birth control prescriptions during all hours of store operation. By refusing access to birth control, pharmacies are discriminating. Lack of access discriminates on the basis of economic means as some women may not have cars, the funds for additional travel, or live in rural areas with little access of choice; and if a rape victim traumatized already. Please keep our state policies the same. Washington State NOW represents women's rights issues for our 2,000 members and many supporters State-wide. We have chapters both in eastern and western Washington. Our Thurston County Chapter has been active in this issue area since you first addressed refusal clause policies. Sincerely, Judie Fortier Washington State NOW President
Oct 1 2010 2:27PM I believe everyone has the right of conscience to accept or refuse what is presented- a treatment even to accepting or decling drink, food etc. In medical school we were offered the choice or accept or decline doing abortions. I believe mandating a professional to provide a particular proceedure or medication goes against an individuals right to refuse based on conscience. In our emergency rooms we do not refuse care however we are not mandated to provide what a patient demands. A pharmacist , I believe should be allowed to state that a particular medication or service is not provided at that location and the patient may have to go elsewhere. The pharmacist may lose business based on this decision however is it not the pharmacists individual right to make this decision based on conscienc. Do you want a provider to practice without a concern for your welfare or their conscience. This is after all not a lifesaving proceedure. Respectfully Dr Gillian Shaw I am also involved in chronic pain management where challenging decisions are based on what is perceived best for the patient and not solely on what the patient wants.
Oct 1 2010 3:33PM Please protect the rights of conscience for any pharmacist who objects to dispensing a medication that he/she feels is morally wrong. This should never be forced upon someone no matter what the law states. We have a higher power to answer to than any law forced upon us. That's why we have a conscience. Please let us use it!
Oct 1 2010 4:43PM Please maintain regulations that protect the rights of conscience for pharmists who because of their religious beliefs cannot dispense drugs that could cause abortion.
Oct 3 2010 8:53PM Governance at its best should balance the needs of its citizens and not be a foil for any special interest group. I believe this can be done without infringing on the rights of conscience. Accommodation to the needs and rights of all parties should be the guiding principle.
Oct 4 2010 9:53AM
Oct 4 2010 8:35PM Having worked in the healthcare field for the past dozen years, I recognize the responsibility I have as a professional. That is, to ensure that those seeking care receive fair and individualized treatment at minimal cost. I am not a physician, and it is not within the scope of my professional responsibilities to refuse to follow through with a physicians order regardless of my opinion or whether or not I believe an individual deserves treatment. My understanding is that the pharmacy board is considering a change to the rules that would grant pharmacists the right to refuse to dispense medications if patients are referred to another location. Because delays in treatment can affect patient care, this is essentially making a treatment decision; that is, the pharmacist would be called upon to make a MEDICAL decision about the time available for treatment, and a MEDICAL decision about the patients’ ability to transport herself or himself to another location. This shifts healthcare decisions away from physicians and away from patients. Pharmacists’ responsibilities are serious, clearly defined, and a critical part in the healthcare system, but allowing them to refuse to provide medications is beyond the reasonable professional role of a pharmacist as I understand it. I urge you to respect the pharmacy profession and the individuals who, through a tradition of excellence and care, have earned the trust of patients who are seeking unbiased treatment.
Oct 4 2010 10:16PM I believe it is important to respect the right of conscience. We are careful to preserve the right of conscience for physicians and nurses. As health professionals, pharmacists deserve the same consideration. Once you deny the right of conscience to one class of people, it becomes all that much easier to deny it to others; I am thinking here of the conscientious objector status provided in military service. To the argument of forcing one's views on another, denying conscience rights effectively forces a view on the individual pharmacists. Furthermore, prior to the current rules, no one had any trouble getting their Plan B medication as well as others. Amending the rules for conscience rights will not harm patient rights. I urge you to amend the rules appropriately to allow for the conscience rights of all pharmacists.
Oct 5 2010 9:10PM Honorable Board of Pharmacy, thank you for receiving my input. I am currently licensed in Washington as both a Physician Assistant and a Pharmacist. I worked many years in hospitals and clinics as a pharmacist and learned to work collaboratively with physicians and other practitioners. I am fortunate in my current job to receive excellent help as I collaborate with our clinic's pharmacists in providing care to our patients.. Prescribers and pharmacists are trying to do the best for their patients. Most of these professionals feel a special calling to this work. And yet, we all must act in good conscience, or we will feel driven out of our professions. All clinicians who are acting responsibly must have some means by which to reasonably disagree with a medical treatment plan and to remove themselves from participation. I am certain the the Board of Pharmacy can help to facilitate procedures, and to train practitioners, who, in certain circumstances, find it necessary to direct patients to seek care elsewhere. Sincerely, William M Baluch PAC, RPH 11840 SE 4th Pl unit # 304 Bellevue, WA 98005 WBaluch@UW.edu
Oct 6 2010 11:31PM Protect right of pharmacists and pharmacies to use their best professional and ethical judgement, to work in accordance with their conscience to first do no harm.
Oct 7 2010 8:56AM I urge you to not repeal the current rule. Sexual assault victims are victimized on several levels from their assault and often continue to be re-victimized once they have come forward. Ensuring victims have immediate access to important medication is one way to lessen the re-victimization process as victims move through various systems. The current pharmacy policy is an opportunity to give victims back their power and that is a vital step in recovery.
Oct 7 2010 9:05AM Although I respect the right for each individual to honor their conscious, I do not agree pharmacists should deny filling valid prescriptions based on personal beliefs. If a pharmacist objects to Plan B, then they can choose to not take it themselves. It is a legal option for women and does not require a doctor's permission, if they are of consenting age, so why should a pharmacist have higher rule to deny this medication? I believe that we have created a system in which we trust our doctor's recommendations and pharmacists must fill all prescriptions in a fair and timely manner.
Oct 7 2010 9:24AM As a therapist who works with sexual assault survivors, I see daily how important it is for women to have complete access to birth control, including emergency birth control. A delay can mean forced child-bearing or an unwanted abortion, especially when there is already a delay in dealing with the rape - ie when drugs were put in a victim's drink, or other suituations where she is not fully alert and able to deal with the situation within 24 hours. Raising a rapist's child or having to go through an abortion add to the difficulty for rape survivors, who generally want to move on from this terrible experience and not be reminded for months or years by a pregnancy that resulted from the incident. Some rapists want to control a woman or girl by making her have his child, and this control is not something our pharmacuetical rules should support. Every woman needs to be able to choose for and control her own body, but in sexual assault cases, where control has already been taken, it is especially important to a victim's recovery to regain that sesne of control by having all choices readily available.
Oct 7 2010 9:54AM Repealing the current rule will exacerbate the vulnerability of sexual assault victims in our state. It is essential that victims' access to the medications that will protect their health and well-being is not mediated by pharmacists' personal beliefs. Sexual assault victims have already endured a loss of bodily autonomy. Our institutions should not perpetuate this by limiting their access to lawfully prescribed medications that provide choice and control over one's life and body.
Oct 9 2010 7:04AM Create a conscience clause for pharmacists. I left my ten year position as a community pharmacist after the law was enacted in July of 2007. I highly enjoyed my position and simultaneously assisted our patients/customers in obtaining excellent pharmaceutical care. While dispensing the drug is one aspect, the other is counseling which requires a minimum of what the drug is for, how it is to be used, expected outcomes, adverse reactions and potential interactions. Since I could not perform effective counseling on Plan B and comply with the law, I left community practice. There were not many employment opportunities available then for a pharmacist with my background in this state and I nearly left the State of Washington when I was offered an out of state position. However, I now work in settings in Washington where I am not required to counsel Plan B. Conscience derives from the term “to be conscious”. Conscience is what drives an individual to “go the extra mile”. I delivered medications especially during winter for our largely senior population after working a ten hour day when our pharmacy did not offer a delivery service. I returned to the pharmacy after it was closed when it meant an hour round trip to care for a confused senior. Conscience possesses a discipline component too. I performed drug evaluations when it was not convenient. It would have been easier to “let it go” when I was busy. Intuition and clinical evaluation requires active, listening and engaged health care providers which convert to better care. An internal compass (conscience) where financial pay for performance may or may not occur allows this process to unfold regardless of remuneration. According to my information sources, my successor does not perform these “value added” services. Patients receive an increased quality of care when their pharmacists are driven by a highly developed and functional conscience. Prior to the implementation of the 2007 ruling, my patients and customers had excellent options to obtain Plan B close by (within 1 mile) of our pharmacy and I directed them to it. The State of Washington can make this a “win-win” for its citizens and those pharmacists whose conscience will not allow dispensing and counseling of Plan B or other controversial agents. Excellent access does not require availability of every drug at every pharmacy. Our citizens certainly deserve the time and attention of pharmacists who utilize their consciences to provide a higher standard of care. We should assure our citizens that they will be able to access conscientious pharmacists by allowing choice. Ensure the most qualified pharmacists utilizing highly formed consciences will assist the State of Washington residents in providing their pharmaceutical needs by creating a conscience clause.
Oct 11 2010 12:46PM Please project the conscience rights of pharmacists.
Oct 11 2010 1:02PM PLEASE SUPPORT THE RIGHT OF CONSCIOUS FOR ALL PHARMACISTS. THERE WILL ALWAYS BE ANOTHER PHARMACIST WHO CAN MAKE THE SALE. THANKYOU, MELINDA AFFRONTE
Oct 11 2010 1:33PM The proposed change allowing dispensing decisions based on 'moral imperatives' is itself immoral and contrary to an organized society ruling itself by careful deliberation of laws. Pharmacists must not be allowed to discriminate based on moral opinions. Other business owners are not given such lattitude. If, as a landlord, I have a strong moral conviction (perhaps even religious beliefs) that blacks must not live in the same buildings as whites - it doesn't matter. What matters is the law. What matters are the decisions our society has made which prevent me from discriminating. If I can't stand the limitations on my 'moral imperatives', I need to find a different line of work. Perhaps those pharmacists who can't stand the limitations on their 'moral imperatives' also need to find a different line of work. Or, perhaps they can accept that their profession requires them to perform duties with which they do not always agree. Welcome to the real world.
Oct 11 2010 9:27PM Please protect the rights of conscience. Each person has the right to act in conscience and in freedom so as personally to make moral decisions. No one must be forced to act contrary to his or her conscience.
Oct 16 2010 9:22PM As a practicing Registered Nurse for 46 years with extensive community health experience, I srongly encourage you to keep the 2007 Board of Pharmacy rules intact. There is a very important clause in those rules that requires a pharmacist to provide medications or to refuse to do so as long as the pharmacy makes sure the patient gets their medication on site without delay or discrimination. One of my clients was a 17-year-old girl in a rural Washington State community with one pharmacy staffed by one pharmacist on site at any one time. The town was 30 miles from the next town with a pharmacy. The girl was raped (again) by her inebriated father. She had no health insurance or transportation to get to another town. Her only recourse to prevent a rape-induced pregnancy was the Plan B pill, which the local pharmacist dispensed. If the pharmacist had refused to dispense the Plan B, a rape-induced pregnancy would have been the result. The girl, already mentally unstable and depressed due to repeated abuse, would have been at high risk of suicide or death from a self-induced abortion. The refusal of some pharmacists to dispense other medications such as anti-depressants to a pregnant woman would also have had disastrous consequences if my client had become pregnant. Lack of access to antidepressant medication would have dramatically increased her risk of suicide. Pharmacists, like nurses, have an obligation to consider the needs of clients before their own. If they cannot do so, they are in the wrong profession. Thank you for your serious consideration of the need to keep the 2007 Board of Pharmacy rules intact.
Oct 22 2010 9:17PM
Oct 23 2010 2:05PM As a health care provider it is my professional duty to provide care, access to care, access to medications and oppose the 246-863 and 246-869 WAC which could limit access to all populations. Our role as providers is to improve access to care not limit our access to care based on religion, ethnicity, gender or age of either the provider or the client. Please remember that this WAC could effect all medication availability and not just access to Plan B. Please do not detour the client by making exceptions to how and when a pharmacist can provide medication based on religion, ethnicity, gender or age. Thanks you for your opposition!
Oct 23 2010 7:53PM The right of conscience is a fundamental right that must be protected.
Oct 24 2010 4:57AM I oppose 246-863 and 246-869 WAC. The Board of Pharmacy, in its own words, should be "regulating the competency and quality of professional health care providers." What happened?
Oct 25 2010 8:22AM
Oct 25 2010 10:25AM As a nurse practitioner I feel it is very important that vulnerable patients be allowed access to timely pharmacy services. As we re-examine these rules we should be attempting to decrease barriers, not increase them. Changing these rules may prevent my low-income, mentally ill, and immigrant patients from obtaining plan-b and other important medications due to economic, insurance, transportation, and language barriers. If this rule is changed what medications would be exempt?
Oct 28 2010 9:23AM We must protect the right of conscience of the pharmacists! These controversial medications are not life saving medications. No pharmacist is putting anyone's life in jeapardy by not prescribing them and believe they are taking a life in doing so.
Oct 29 2010 10:39AM It is sad that this State is considering a rule that “compels” someone to do something which is against their moral or religious beliefs. Pharmacists cannot be forced or compelled to fill any prescription, anymore than a nurse can be forced or compelled to assist with a procedure, or a surgeon forced or compelled to perform one. While all three have the training and ability, they cannot be forced or compelled by any law to do them. As a pharmacist, I have the training and a license to give flu shots. Is the Board of Pharmacy going to force me to administer them? As a citizen of this country, no one can compel you or me to do something which is against our moral or religious beliefs, regardless of the outcome. Nor can we be forced or compelled to even remotely participate in the action if the result is the same as if we did act. The argument that there are remote areas where certain drugs may not be available is weak, at best. According to laws already enacted by the state, there are numerous medical professionals which can dispense medications. Basically, if you can write for it, you can dispense it and even administer it. Meaning that there is a plethora of people who can fill in when a pharmacist is not available. It is done all the time in emergency rooms and clinics. If you are looking for someone to force or compel, then force the physician who writes the prescription to provide the medication or, better yet, force the company who makes the pill to have someone on call within a radius of 25 miles of every female in the state to provide the pill on a moment’s notice. The State of Washington must protect the rights of every person living here. Someone else’s right to chose does not trump my right to chose.
Oct 29 2010 4:51PM Conscience trumps convenience. Unless there is direct harm resulting (which has been shown not to be happening), the conscience of all should take priority. Please amend pharmicists' & pharmacy licensing rules to respect the beliefs of those who serve us.
Oct 29 2010 8:54PM Pharmacists should be allowed to practice their profession according to their consciences.
Oct 30 2010 9:20AM It is pharmacists now who may be denied the power to follow their profession and their conscience. Next it could be physicians forced to prescribe pills for suicides, and later told they cannot refuse to give shots to kill people unable to administer poison to themselves because they are paralyzed or cannot swallow. Will we eventually help "useless eaters" depart from our Medicare and Medicaid rolls? Do we want to live in a society where we cannot trust our physicians? The slippery slope is alive and well in the Netherlands, Switzerland, Oregon, and Washington. Think further than your pharmacist's counter.
Oct 31 2010 5:06PM Please, RE-WRITE THE RULES to fully protect pharmacists and pharmacy owners’ right of conscience. No pharmacy, pharmacist, pharmacist assistant, or cashier should be forced to stock, fill and/or sell drugs such as Plan B and Ella that are against their religious beliefs and conscience. In addition, these entities should not be forced to stock, fill, and/or sell contraceptive drugs that are against their religious beliefs and conscience. Imagine having trained as a pharmacist or pharmacist assistant, and then being forced to not practice in this field because the law requires one to violate his or her conscience: This would be disastrous. No store or individual should be required to carry, stock, fill, or sell any of these drugs. There has got to be an element of decency in this society that allows a professional to practice within his or her conscience. Therefore, I fully concur with re-writing the rules to fully protect pharmacists and pharmacy owners’ right of conscience. This is what I expect to see in our government and society. Thank you for your consideration of this.
Nov 1 2010 6:32PM A few key points to bear in mind in considering new rule-making from a physician who has been following this matter very closely for over 4 years:.............................................1. The mere fact that a product or service CAN be legally sold in a jurisdiction does NOT simultaneously impose a duty that citizens - or a subset of citizens such as pharmacists -MUST in fact sell and dispense it. (To illustrate the principle, think for a moment of prostitution which is legal in Nevada - any woman there COULD theoretically provide said legally saleable service....but fortunately no woman can be compelled to do so - even if some would-be customers might request or even insist that she do so.)..................................................................2. The mere fact that a product or service CAN be legally sold in a jurisdiction, likewise, does NOT simultaneously impose a duty on government or regulatory agencies to ensure that said product or service is widely available for sale; i. e. legality does not extend authority to government or regulatory entities to strongarm unwilling persons into providing product or service or do ensure there is a market for it at all.............................................................3. Aside from these facts, the notion that there was even notable difficulty obtaining morning-after pills in Washington state prior to the contrived, fomented, "access crisis" has never been substantiated. I believe that if you review your BOP complaint file, you'll find the following: 150,000,000 prescriptions for all drugs were written in Washington in the 2 years ending in June 2006 (which encompasses the 21 months immediately preceding the Board of Pharmacy's first public comment hearing regarding alleged problems accessing morning-after pills); yet, only 2 dozen complaints were filed in that 2 year period regarding trouble filling any and all prescription - and only 1 (one!) alleged difficulty pertaining to a morning-after pill product. That - and any subsequent complaints regarding morning-after pills drummed up by anti-conscience bullies - were reportedly fully investigated by the Board of Pharmacy and found to have been unsubstantiated .................................................................4. Already more than $500,000 has been spent by the state (taxpayers) defending the unconstitutional rules passed, under pressure, by the BOP (as it was constituted in 2006-7). A lot of good things could have been accomplished in this cash-strapped state with that money. Let's not waste more money we don't have to restart the currently conditionally paused federal lawsuit that the pharmacists are currently and rightly winning against the state. ..................................................................5. BULLYING our pharmacists out of their jobs and even their profession has no place in nice, tolerant, live-and-let-live Washington state. You have already heard testimony last month of one minority woman pharmacist who was forced out of her outpatient pharmacy position solely because of the current conscience-disrespecting rules passed by BOP. She is now relegated to a position elsewhere that couldn't involve the possibility - no matter how remote - that she might ever encounter a teen or woman of child-bearing age who might possibly request a morning-after pill. Her prior patient population, many of them limited-English speakers, is now deprived of the ability to consult with her in their native language, in which she is fluent having been born abroad like them. She is Catholic and was effectively told by her prior employer - under the dictates of the Board of Pharmacy's ill-considered rules - that practicing Catholics will no longer be eligible to work there as pharmacists. This country was founded on the principle of religious freedom and tolerance for individual beliefs and yet the current BOP rules are profoundly unfair and need to be reversed. Please proceed with rule-making and expeditiously resolve this issue with common sense, respect, and fairness. Thank you.
Nov 4 2010 12:50PM This is a critical issue for sexual assault survivors. I am disheartened to see the existing rule that doesn't allow for refusal being challenged yet again. I am deeply concerned that the Board of Pharmacy is reconsidering the issue and potentially adopting a position that would undo and deny patients their right to medical care. If pharmacists are able to deny survivors of sexual violence access to critical remedies such as emergency contraception, they are jeopardizing that individuals health, safety, and recovery. The ramifications are significant for victims of sexual assault! Survivors who need medication from pharmacists need urgent help and may already feel vulnerable and scared. Adoption of such a policy will further perpetuate their victimization and sense of powerlessness. Implementation of such a policy jeopardizes the health and personal well-being sexual assault victims across the state.
Nov 5 2010 9:52AM "Sexual assault victims who need medication from pharmacists need urgent help and may already feel vulnerable and scared. Repealing the current rule will further perpetuate their victimization and sense of powerlessness and will jeopardize the health and personal well-being of sexual assault victims across Washington."
Nov 5 2010 9:53AM Sexual assault victims who need medication from pharmacists need urgent help and may already feel vulnerable and scared. Repealing the current rule will further perpetuate their victimization and sense of powerlessness and will jeopardize the health and personal well-being of sexual assault victims across Washington
Nov 5 2010 10:59AM Sexual assault victims who need medication from pharmacists need urgent help and may already feel vulnerable and scared. Repealing the current rule will further perpetuate their victimization and sense of powerlessness and will jeopardize the health and personal well-being of sexual assault victims across Washington.
Nov 5 2010 2:12PM Sexual assault victims who need medication from pharmacists need urgent help and may already feel vulnerable and scared. Repealing the current rule will further perpetuate their victimization and sense of powerlessness and will jeopardize the health and personal well-being of sexual assault victims across Washington.
Nov 5 2010 5:28PM As a prescribing psychiatric ARNP, I am concerned over the continual legal moves to deprive needy patients of valuable medications because an individal pharmacist does not "morally" agree. Since when do we have the ordained right and responsiblity to deprive sovereign people of these USA to get legitamately prescribed medications? It is a throwback to a fuedal system that individuals in power think they can legitimate their "morally" prejudicial and opinionated perspectives on those needy and asking for our assitance medically, which I find immorally corrupt. Dressing their rhetoric in Christian terms to promote their agenda has NEVER been the truth... When will the power brokers wake up to the SERVICE they are suppose to be providing to all creeds, ages, GENDERS, economic levels, to start promoting HEALTH instead of restricitng it? Please give our people their medications!
Nov 6 2010 1:16PM Since both individual professional pharmacists and the pharmacies where they work are licensed in order to ensure safe, timely access to medications for all Washington's citizens and lawful residents, both should be bound to do the job they exist to do, on pain of license revocation. I think you do need to change your existing rules - BY REINSTATING THE REQUIREMENT FOR LICENSED PHARMACISTS TO DO THEIR JOBS IN A PROFESSIONAL MANNER - NOT by loosening the requirement for pharmacies to perform THEIR proper function! I have no objection to any pharmacist's decision not to TAKE any medication to which he or she has a moral objection. And actually, I have no objection to a pharmacist's refusal to dispense a medication which offends his or her moral sensibilities - AS LONG AS THAT PHARMACIST DOES SO IN A WAY THAT HAS NO IMPACT ON THE PATIENT. There should be no delay due to this issue, and all extra costs and inconvenience associated with it should be borne by the refusing pharmacist, not the patient. So a pharmacist who was really being ethical would hire an assistant to dispense the objectionable medications, or make arrangements for the medication to be couriered immediately from another nearby pharmacy to the patient's home or office AT THE PHARMACIST'S EXPENSE.
Nov 8 2010 9:16AM This rule will detrimentally affect sexual assault victims who need urgent help and access to medications that will protect their reproductive and overall health. Sexual assault survivors, who may already feel powerless, ashamed, scared and traumatized should not have their right to medical treatment taken from them at such a critical time. Repealing the current rule will further perpetuate their victimization and sense of powerlessness and will jeopardize the health and personal well-being of sexual assault victims across Washington.
Nov 8 2010 12:16PM To Whom It May Concern: Sexual assault victims who need medication from pharmacists need urgent help and may already feel vulnerable and scared. Repealing the current rule will further perpetuate their victimization and sense of powerlessness and will jeopardize the health and personal well-being of sexual assault victims across Washington. Would you want someone you love to be denied the help and respect they deserve because of another's personal belief? Vicky Simmonds Legal Advocacy Specialist/Sexual Assault Program YWCA Clark County Vancounver, WA 98663
Nov 9 2010 2:03PM The current rule requiring pharmacists to fill any valid prescription should remain unchanged. A pharmacist's personal beliefs should not come between a woman and her health care practitioner's medical decision-making. The time-honored trust between clinician and patient must not be allowed to be broken by somenone unfamiliar with the patient's personal history and needs. As a clinician, I know it takes considerable effort to reach decisions collaboratively with clients about how to best serve their needs. If this rule is approved, all of that effort can be undone by an outside party. It is wrong to force women to travel to multiple locations to obtain a legal, valid prescription medication. For underserved rural women, this hardship is even more severe. A rule that disproportionally affects the most vulnerable women is unjust and unfair.
Nov 9 2010 10:53PM Thanks
Nov 10 2010 10:08AM Pharmacists should be required to fill all prescriptions, without exception, from licensed medical providers as they are part of the continuum of patient care.
Nov 10 2010 11:06AM Allowing the refusal of legal medications such as emergency contraception gives pharmacists excessive control over patients' ability to acquire their needed medication. There should be no reason any valid prescription or other legally available medication should be denied by an arbitrary gatekeeper party when all other requirements are met toward dispensing the medication. Health care should not require this hurdle, and shunting the responsibility to other pharmacies by way of referral is a gross negligence in light of the well-being of the patient.
Nov 10 2010 5:18PM This is an outrageous decision. It allows cowards to humiliate women, including women who have just been raped, seeking contraception and emergency contraception and to do so with impunity. I would like to see the board members responsible replaced by decent human beings who are more concerned with guaranteeing a reasonable standard of care for the women of this state than forcing the religious views of a minority down everyone's throats.
Nov 11 2010 8:04AM State and Federal Government prevents people from purchasing thousands of drugs directly from the manufacturer. Those laws force consumers and patients to therefore go to a Pharmacy to purchase those drugs. This is a legalized monopoly on the dispensing of drugs. People cannot purchase directly so they are forced by the State to purchase from a Pharmacy. If the State then allows those Pharmacies to choose not to dispense those drugs on the basis of subjective "morality" or "religious beliefs" you have then effectively created a mechanism that allows the State to sanction religious beliefs to the detriment of the public at large. The state is giving an effective monopoly to the Pharmacy to control the dispension of all drugs and allowing it to use religious beliefs to govern how it thereby manages that state-sanctioned monopoly. Catholics tend to oppose the use of condoms and birth control pills. Shall Catholic Pharmacies refuse to offer those products? Christian Scientist and Scientologists do not believe in the use of anti-depressants. Shall those pharmacies now refuse to dispense doctor-prescribed anti-depressants that the FDA has ruled are legal? Evangelic Christians believe homosexuality is a sin and that HIV is a curse from God. Shall those pharmacies now refuse HIV-medicine? What will the State Department of Health now require religious tests for those seeking Pharmaceutical licenses? This is not just a slippery slope. This is a blatant abdication of the role of the State to be religiously neutral and an abrogation of the Doctor's right to prescribe medication. IT is a violation of the fundamentals of a free economy - to take away the rights of consumers to purchase these drugs directly from the manufacturers by giving an artificial monopoly to the Pharmacy as distributor (much like the state does with the sale of liquor through wholesalers and retailers) only to then allow those same Pharmacies to then refuse to dispense the drug. This harms the Manufacturer (by allowing state-licensed actors to destroy their market access) and this harms consumers (by allowing state-licensed actors to prevent their product access). If a pharmacist can abuse their special government-granted privilege of owning a license to dispense drugs on the basis of religious beliefs, then what is to stop them from refusing to give life-saving drugs to a woman in a headscarf because they feel that Islam is the antichrist? What if they choose to refuse service on the basis of skin color? What differentiates your position from those? Nothing. You allow pharmacists to abuse their state-granted license to dispense drugs for the sake of practicing religious discrimination, then you are violating the Civil Rights Act. You may be scared of the small minority of conservative zealout pharmacists, but you better be MORE SCARED of the class action lawsuit that will be brought against you in Federal Court for violating several Federal Laws and the Constitution. And as an attorney, I can promise you - whether I or other plaintiff's lawyers do this, it will happen. You will be sued for allowing state-licensed actors to refuse service on the basis of religion. Be warned.
Nov 11 2010 11:08AM If a pharmacist wishes to hold to their privilege to "conscientiously" decide which medicines to prescribe, I don't think that they are qualified to be a pharmacist. Their education relies on knowledge gained through research and grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Health, both supported by taxpayers. In that light, the state licensing board owes them nothing based on technical qualifications i.e. a test or an exam on biochemistry, law etc. If they do not wish to conform to the rule of law implied by the license, they have that right, but they do not have a right to a license. That is a privilege just like a license to practice medicine or to drive a car or to build houses for a living. Question their stance, and refuse them a license if they wish to pick and choose which rules they follow and which rules that they refuse to follow.
Nov 12 2010 10:16AM This should never have been reopened. A few pharmacists want to insert themselves in the decision making process between the doctor and patient, establishing an dangerous and unsupportable precedent. Referral to another establishment is not adequate compensation for failure of the pharmacists to perform their professional duties.
Nov 12 2010 1:08PM Pharmacists are licensed to dispense medication, period. Their personal/religious views should not have any bearing on their jobs. If a pharmacist is offended by the use of a legal medication then that individual needs to find another line of work.
Nov 12 2010 1:43PM After posting my comment, I was taken to the comment page and read through a few entries. Many posters in favor of allowing pharmacists to pick and choose which prescriptions to fill also seem to believe EC/Plan B is an abortifacient. Obviously it is not. It simply suppresses ovulation. This tells me that supporters of this action and pharmacists who wish to deny filling prescriptions of Plan B have no knowledge of science. I'll take a science-based medical practitioner over a faith-based one any day. I'm really getting tired of religious people wanting to move us forward to the Dark Ages.
Nov 12 2010 8:33PM I do not support the refusal/referral change. It's reprehensible that a professional would use their personal viewpoint to protest or inconvenience the medical care of another. I support the initial wording of WAC 246-869-010: Pharmacies' responsibilities. (1) Pharmacies have a duty to deliver lawfully prescribed drugs or devices to patients and to distribute drugs and devices approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for restricted distribution by pharmacies, or provide a therapeutically equivalent drug or device in a timely manner consistent with reasonable expectations for filling the prescription, except for the following or substantially similar circumstances... It rather seems allowing refusal/referral by a pharmacy would in fact be allowing indimidation or harrassment of a patient, which is currently grounds for discipline.
Nov 13 2010 8:50AM Please protect the rights of conscience!
Nov 15 2010 12:29PM I feel this would be a great injustice to any victim of a sexual crime.
Nov 15 2010 12:54PM No No No.
Nov 17 2010 11:45AM The job of the pharmacist is to fulfill prescriptions, not to impose their ideals on society.
Nov 17 2010 12:44PM Sexual assault victims need medication and urgent help from pharmacists. They probably are already terrified and don't need a pharmacist to make them feel even more like they've done something wrong. Repealing the current rule will make their victimization and sense of powerlessness even worse and no one deserves to have that done to them any more than they deserve to be assualted in the first place. They need consideration, comfort and understanding. Changing the rule will jeopardize the health and personal well-being of sexual assualt victims across the entire state of Washington. Please don't do this. Unfortunately, we never know who might be the next victim and it would be truly sad if it was a friend or family member of a pharmacist who denied help to someone else. PLEASE DON'T CHANGE THIS RULE!!!!!
Nov 17 2010 1:12PM Victims of sexual assault need certain medications right away. Taking that right away from them revictimizes them all over again. Pharmacies should not be allowed to choose what medications they will/will not carry or distribute solely based on their beliefs!!! It's outrageous and I'm cannot believe this is even being considered...
Nov 17 2010 8:14PM I am deeply disappointed and saddened not only that people will be denied appropriate medical care prescribed by their physician, but also that the board made such a vote despite an overwhelming response against such a decision. I hoped those making the decision would have better educated themselves prior to the vote. Having worked for over 9 years with people who have been raped, I am beyond disheartened to know that the community of pharmicists can legally retraumatize such victims based on personal beliefs rather than their professional code of ethics. I hope any pharmacies who do so ARE REQUIRED TO POST IN LARGE SIGNAGE that they are choosing not provide full and appropriate services.
Nov 18 2010 1:53PM Adults and children under the age of 18, that are victims of sexual assault crimes that need medication from a pharmacy are in crisis and need urgent help and medication. Being the victim of a crime makes them vulnerable and scared. Being denied medication at a pharmacy further traumatizes these victimes and makes them feel powerless and embarrassed. It could very well jeopardize their personal health and well-being by being denied these prescribed medications at a pharmacy.
Nov 21 2010 12:28PM We oppose the State Board of Pharmacy’s proposed rule change. Our state’s constitution reminds us that “liberty of conscience . . . shall not be so construed as to . . . justify practices inconsistent with the peace and safety of the state.” The board’s proposed rule seeks to turn these wise words on their head, allowing personal beliefs to justify decisions that undermine patient safety and peace of mind. The people of the State of Washington deserve a healthcare system that is unbiased, reliable, and responsive to patient needs. For pharmacists, that means promptly, objectively, and competently filling the prescriptions that physicians legally order.
Nov 21 2010 2:33PM The rulemaking should not proceed. This sets a dangerous precedent. People have all sorts of conscience-based biases, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't do the jobs they were licensed to do. Some people believe no one should take pain medications. Should those people then become pharmacists, should they be allowed to refuse narcotics to customers with chronic pain? What about prescription acne medicine? Sleep aids? Where does it end?
Nov 23 2010 1:13PM It is dangerous to individuals and public health to allow pharmacists to second-guess doctors on moral grounds. If a pharmacist is licensed to dispense medicine and in business dispensing medicine they should dispense medicine, not moral judgment and references to other dispensaries - be it religious based or otherwise. Pharmacists made the choice to follow their profession. They can choose to follow some other profession if they find their current one offends their principals. Pharmacists clients, the citizens of Washington who are patients in need of medicine, cannot choose to not need prescriptions. Poor patients and patients without transportation sometimes cannot choose to 'go elsewhere' for prescriptions. As members of an official body of the government of Washington, you are charged with serving all the citizens of the state and insuring all the citizens are served by those you regulate. If this rule change is allowed to go into effect, it will be a serious disservice to many citizens of Washington. I oppose this rule change and urge you to vote against it.
Nov 26 2010 9:56PM It appears that some people want to arrogantly dictate to pharmacists what they can do with their own body, against their conscience and religious beliefs. A doctor is not legally required to prescribe an abortion-causing medication. It is ludicrous, then, to demand that a pharmacist stock and sell it. A pharmacist must explain to a client how to use medication. Thus, a pharmacist is put in the position of actively participating in a possible abortion by describing to the client how to effectively use the medication. A medical practitioner is legally not supposed to be forced to participate in an abortion against their religious beliefs. A pharmacist should also have that right to opt out. Furthermore, I, as a consumer, have a right to choose both my doctor and my pharmacist based on their views of the sanctity of life. Since I look to both professionals for advice on potentially life and death decisions, I have a right to choose a doctor, pharmacist, and other medical professionals who share my core beliefs. That way I can trust the advice I am getting. Women who want to abort their babies have the right to do likewise. But those women have no right to tell me that I can't have a pharmacist who holds strong religious views about life. If they don't like his policy, they shouldn't shop there. The marketplace will decide if it is a wise position. But no man or woman has a right to demand, by way of your board's regulations, that a private company stock and sell a specific item. I strongly urge the regulations to allow for religious right of conscience as well as basic liberty and freedom for pharmacists to decide what is best for them and their customers. Thank you.
Nov 29 2010 12:34PM ywca clark county public policy supports both the empowerment of women and the right to adequate and timely medical care. We do not support changes to the current WA State Board of Pharmacy Rules in this area. Please, join us in empowering women by not changing the current Board of Pharmacy rules. Sherri Bennett Executive Director ywca clark county Michael D. LaLone VP Public Policy ywca clark county
Dec 11 2010 1:50PM Please protect the rights of conscience.



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