Representative David Sater (r-68) prefiled HB 28 which would further restrict access to RU 486 and emergency contraception. Interestingly, he’s a pharmacist.
FIRST REGULAR SESSION
HOUSE BILL NO. 28
96TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY
INTRODUCED BY REPRESENTATIVE SATER.
0337L.01I D. ADAM CRUMBLISS, Chief Clerk
To amend chapter 338, RSMo, by adding thereto one new section relating to the right of pharmacies regarding abortifacients.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of Missouri, as follows:
Section A. Chapter 338, RSMo, is amended by adding thereto one new section, to be known as section 338.575, to read as follows:
338.575. 1. No licensed pharmacy in this state shall be required to perform, assist, recommend, refer to, or participate in any act or service in connection with any drug or device that is an abortifacient, including but not limited to the RU486 drug and emergency contraception such as the Plan B drug.
2. No civil or criminal cause of action shall accrue against a pharmacy due to a refusal to perform, assist, recommend, refer for, or participate in any act or service in accordance with subsection 1 of this section.
3. No board, commission, or other agency or instrumentality of this state shall deny, revoke, suspend, or otherwise discipline the license of a pharmacy, nor shall it impose any other condition of operation due to a refusal to perform, assist, recommend, refer for, or participate in any act or service in accordance with subsection 1 of this section.
4. No pharmacy shall be denied or discriminated against in eligibility for or the receipt of any public benefit, assistance, or privilege of any kind due to a refusal to perform, assist, recommend, refer for, or participate in any act or service in accordance with subsection 1 of this section.
[emphasis in original]
There’s something interesting already in Missouri Revised Statutes:
Missouri Revised Statutes
Pharmacists and Pharmacies
Equipment required–manner of operation of pharmacy–compliance with state and federal laws required.
338.250. No pharmacy shall be licensed under the provisions of this chapter unless it is equipped with proper pharmaceutical equipment and reference manuals, so that the practice of pharmacy may be accurately and properly performed. The board shall prescribe the minimum of technical equipment which the pharmacy shall at all times possess. Such requirements may vary, depending upon the population served, but shall be consistently and uniformly enforced. No permit shall be issued or renewed for the operation of a pharmacy unless the pharmacy shall be operated in a manner and according to the rules and regulations prescribed by law and by the Missouri board of pharmacy with respect to obtaining and maintaining such a permit. Any pharmacy that receives or possesses drugs or devices shall be held responsible for compliance with all laws within this chapter as well as state and federal drug laws on all drugs received or possessed, including but not limited to drugs and devices received or possessed pursuant to a consignment arrangement.
(L. 1951 p. 734 § 6, A.L. 1990 H.B. 1287, A.L. 1998 S.B. 940)
And there has been quite a bit of discussion about imposing one’s personal beliefs on patients and/or acting to restrict their access to legally prescribed medication:
….proposed federal laws do not force pharmacists to dispense a drug that they feel violates their religious beliefs, but rather require a pharmacy to ensure patients have access to prescribed medication. Pharmacies can accommodate pharmacists who refuse to dispense birth control by having more than one pharmacist on duty at a time or by having a pharmacist on call to dispense birth control. If these steps are financially impractical, other methods can be devised that ensure the availability of time-sensitive medications.
Arrangements such as these are only effective if the refusing pharmacist agrees to refer the patient to another pharmacist….
American Public Health Association
Ensuring that Individuals are Able to Obtain Contraceptives at Pharmacies
Policy Date: 11/8/2006
Policy Number: 200611
….Because of the time-sensitive nature of emergency contraception, APHA is among the more than 60 medical, public health and women’s health organizations that had urged the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to switch emergency contraception from a prescription-only medication to over-the-counter status….
….III. APHA Recommendations
….APHA recommends that any policies or standards to address the desire of some pharmacists or pharmacy employees to refuse to dispense contraceptives should advance the following three principles:
(1) if the contraceptive is in stock the medication should be made available on the premises in the customary time frame, through such methods as having a non-objecting pharmacist or pharmacy employee step in to provide the medication; (2) if the contraceptive is not stocked by the pharmacy or is temporarily out of stock, the pharmacy should order the medication for the patient. Alternatively, the patient may be referred or a prescription transferred to another pharmacy that is known to have the medication in stock, if the referral or transfer would result in more prompt dispensing of the contraceptive and the patient prefers the referral or transfer; and 3) an objecting pharmacist or pharmacy employee should not be permitted to admonish patients about contraception or abortion, violate the patient’s right to privacy, misrepresent whether the drug is in stock or can be ordered in a timely manner, or otherwise interfere with access to legally prescribed or marketed medications….
“…switch emergency contraception from a prescription-only medication to over-the-counter status…”
That would solve the wedge issue problem, don’t you think? Sounds like a plan and a solution.