Archive for Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pharmacy follows faith: No birth control sales

October 22, 2008


— A new drug store at a Virginia strip mall is putting its faith in an unconventional business plan: No candy. No sodas. And no birth control.

Divine Mercy Care Pharmacy is among at least seven pharmacies across the nation that are refusing as a matter of faith to sell contraceptives of any kind, even if a person has a prescription. States across the country have been wrestling with the issue of pharmacists who refuse on religious grounds to dispense birth control or morning-after pills, and some have enacted laws requiring drug stores to fill the prescriptions.

In Virginia, though, pharmacists can turn away any prescription for any reason.

"I am grateful to be able to practice," pharmacy manager Robert Semler said, "where my conscience will never be violated and my faith does not have to be checked at the door each morning."

Semler ran a similar pharmacy before opening the new store, which is not far from Dulles International Airport. The store only sells items that are health-related, including vitamins, skin care products and over-the-counter medications.


jonas_opines 9 years, 7 months ago

Do they own the place, or are they going against company policy? It seems like this is coming down as a unified policy, so by all means. We'll see how it impacts their revenue stream, I guess.

staff04 9 years, 7 months ago

Any pharmacist that refuses to fill a doctor-ordered prescription should lose their license unless there is a known drug interaction issue that would harm the patient.That's why we have doctors and pharmacists in separate fields. Pharmacists are not licensed to determine what medications a patient should and should not take.

staff04 9 years, 7 months ago

jonas-"This in no way infringes on any individual person's ability to have access to birth control."Actually, it does. There are countless communities where there is only one easily accessible pharmacy, right? What if the only one is owned and operated by a pharmacist who abdicates his/her responsibility to fill all doctor-ordered prescriptions?Pharmacists take an oath and sign a code of ethics, both of which are grossly violated by pharmacists like this.Here's a few highlights from the code of ethics:III. A pharmacist respects the autonomy and dignity of each patient.VI. A pharmacist respects the values and abilities of colleagues and other health professionals.VII. A pharmacist serves individual, community, and societal needs. to fill any prescription violates all three of the above, and any pharmacist who does not wish to adhere to the ethical code and oath that they swore to should find another profession.

Confrontation 9 years, 7 months ago

It cracks me up when men claim to be against birth control, but then they sure change their minds when it comes to their mistresses. There are plenty of Catholics getting abortions, and I bet their parents or married boyfriends wished they would've given them a daily pill instead. These pharmacies should have to post a sign on the outside that says, "We want to make decisions for you, and, therefore, we won't be selling any birth control." That would make it easier for those of us who think the owners are idiots to choose another pharmacy.

Cait McKnelly 9 years, 7 months ago

Hmmm I wonder if they also custom compound eye of newt and toe of frog prescriptions? Kidding aside I find this disappointing in that it only emphasizes the perception that Virginia is mainly populated by backwater hicks and hillbillies from the Appalachias.

jonas_opines 9 years, 7 months ago

staff04: I disagree. That's just coersian, in which you, in this case, are transposing your values on someone else. This in no way infringes on any individual person's ability to have access to birth control. It would be no different, I opine, than forcing all stores to not sell birth control.

jonas_opines 9 years, 7 months ago

agno: Yeah, that's what it seemed like. Forgive my rhetorical device. O-Bob: Way I figure, He can't object to us modifying the bodies that he made for us if we're making it easier to go forth for farther and multiply with more multiplicity. He did, after all, instruct us to do that.

denak 9 years, 7 months ago

Whereas I don't believe anyone should have to go against their belief system, the pharmacists, in my opinion, do not have the right to refuse to fill birth control pills. There are several reasons why a woman might use birth control pills and it has nothing to do with trying to prevent pregnacy.This is a matter between the doctor and th patient and the pharmacist does not need to know the reason why a woman might need the pill.And really, if we want to take this to the extreme, why even have a pharmacy. Isn't it "God's Will" if you get sick and die? Why try to prevent it???Dena

jonas_opines 9 years, 7 months ago

staff04: "There are countless communities where there is only one easily accessible pharmacy, right?"Is this right? I have no idea. "What if the only one is owned and operated by a pharmacist who abdicates his/her responsibility to fill all doctor-ordered prescriptions?"That is something of a big set of ifs. The ethical code you bring up, though, is pretty interesting. Is it the same, and a requirement, for all pharmacists everywhere? The web page you linked was not clear on that. While 2 of those extrapolations offer potential interpetation, the one about patient autonomy would certainly be contradicted by this action. What happens if you don't sign that ethical code? Who, by the way, agreed on that ethical code in the first place?

staff04 9 years, 7 months ago

There's only one pharmacy in Wellsville, for a local comparison. If someone in one of those communities (which I think we can fairly infer that Wellsville isn't likely an anomaly for communities of its size) doesn't have transportation to the next town, they could be out of luck.The code of ethics is the code accepted by the American Pharmacists' Association. Obviously, it is not legally binding, but meant as a guide, much like the physician's Hippocratic oath.I disagree that the sections I referred to are subject to different interpretation. A pharmacist who refuses to dispense a physician-ordered prescription is not respecting the values and qualities of other health care professionals. The pharmacist, by refusing, is telling a patient that they know better than their doctor what is best for them.A pharmacist who refuses to dispense a physician-ordered prescription is also not serving the individual's need.

ilikestuff 9 years, 7 months ago

Pharmacists make decisions not to fill prescriptions all the time for a variety of reasons. They have tremendous responsibility and leeway to make good decisions. While most pharmacies are well-stocked one can't possibly have every compound at all times. To suggest that a pharmacist is somehow bound or required to have and immediately dispense w/o question any medications for which someone hands them a script is goofy.This is merely an economic issue. The owners felt compelled not to carry or sale specific medications and consumers are free to shop anywhere they chose."...We want to make decisions for you..." Sounds like a slogan for the Obama campaign

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