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APhA Blog and Emergency Contraception


Below is a blog post from the CEO of Am Pharmacists Association.  First my gratitude and congratulations goes out to him for bloging.   More Association Executives need to be sharing their thoughts.  See his excellent blog at


Ok, this is not an informatics issue but, hey, I feel this is an important social issue.  On this issue of pharmacists’ refusal to dispense contraception, I feel he has got it all wrong.  Patient’s come first, not (some wacho or any) religious beliefs, IMHO.  Federal Courts are correct NOT APhA.  Referrals in some section of country that this may happen are not realistic,  in the event that refusing to dispense would happen.  Hurrah for the Federal Courts!


Emergency Contraception – Pharmacists’ rights suffer a setback

tmenighan Jul 9, 2009 12:24 PM – Show original item

On July 8, a federal appeals court ruled that pharmacists are required to dispense emergency contraception, even if they are personally opposed on religious grounds.  The case involves Ralph’s Thriftway and two pharmacists who sued Washington state officials where the law requires pharmacists to dispense despite their beliefs.  An injunction, just vacated (ended) by the federal court, had been issued earlier by a lower court that allowed the pharmacists to refuse to dispense as long as they referred consumers to a nearby pharmacy where it was available.

APhA policy supports a pharmacist’s right to refuse to dispense if a referral is given.  We side with the pharmacists involved and hope they ultimately prevail in retaining their rights.  Other related objections to the state’s law are pending. 

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