People of Northwest Public Radio
Washington Pharmacy Regulations
Thu March 22, 2012
Washington to Appeal Plan B Ruling
OLYMPIA - Washington will appeal a recent federal ruling on the state’s pharmacy regulations. Last month a federal district court judge found the state’s rules on dispensing medications unconstitutional. At the heart of the case is emergency birth control pills. Ruby de Luna reports.
Federal district court judge Ronald Leighton ruled the state’s regulations violated pharmacists’ right to exercise their religious beliefs. He said the rules forced them to do something they deem morally objectionable.
He concluded the regulations’ real intent was to quash pharmacists’ objections to dispensing the emergency contraception known as Plan B.
The state rejects that conclusion. Attorneys will argue the regulations apply to all prescriptions, not just Plan B. They say there are already provisions in place for pharmacists who don’t want to fill prescriptions for personal reasons.
The state pharmacy board adopted the regulations to ensure that patients receive their prescriptions in a timely manner.
Copyright 2012 KUOW.