Pharmacists Can Refuse to Dispense Medicine for a Variety of Reasons

  • the drug has a short shelf life
  • the drug is not in that pharmacy’s niche
  • the drug may attract crime.

A pharmacy can also refuse to fill prescriptions through Medicaid, Medicare or other some other insurance.

In Washington State, pharmacists cannot refuse because of religious objections.

Huffington Post:

The Supreme Court on Tuesday shunned a religious challenge to Washington state regulations requiring all licensed pharmacists to dispense emergency contraceptives when presented with a valid prescription.

In a one-line order, the court declined to review the rules, which also allow pharmacies to deny delivery of the drugs if a pharmacist has a religious objection, but permit another druggist to step in and provide the medication.

An appeals court ruled last summer that the regulations did not violate religious beliefs of pharmacy owners and individual pharmacists under the First Amendment’s free exercise clause. The court noted the regulations were written neutrally and didn’t single out pharmacists who had a specific belief.

Ralph’s Thriftway will have to either go to court again when there’s another justice, dispense abortion pills or close.


Pharmacists Can Refuse to Dispense Medicine for a Variety of Reasons

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