January 31, 2015
A rule stating that pharmacists can only refuse to fill prescriptions based on their professional judgment-- not on any moral or personal beliefs -- got a final approval from a legislative panel.
The lawmakers' Subcommittee to Review Regulations signed off on
the rule, adopted last month by the state Board of Pharmacy,
limiting refusals by pharmacists to cases in which prescriptions
are fraudulent, not warranted for medical purposes or "potentially
harmful" to people.
Louis Ling, the pharmacy board's legal counsel, says a
pharmacist would be subject to possible discipline for refusing to
fill a prescription for any reason other than professional
An earlier proposal had a "conscience clause" that would have
allowed denials based on moral grounds, but Ling says that language
Critics had insisted the clause be deleted, expressing concern
about possible problems such as women being denied birth control