PHARMACY

Wisconsin court decision helps define rights of patients and pharmacists

BY Diana Alickaj

WAUSAU, Wisc. A ruling against a pharmacist who refused to give a patient birth control pills, as well as refusing to transfer her prescriptions somewhere else, has been upheld by a state appeals court.

According to published reports, the ruling that the punishment given to the pharmacist, Neil Noelson, by the state Pharmacy Examining Board did not violate his state constitutional rights.

The original incident, according to published reports, took place in 2002, when a student from the University of Wisconsin-Stout wanted to refill her birth control subscription at a Menomonie Kmart. Noeson refused to do so because of his religious stance against contraception, and explained that he would not be responsible for “impairing the fertility of a human being.”

In 2005 he was ordered to attend ethics classes and inform all future employers that he would not dispense birth control pills due to his religious beliefs. He also was ordered to outline all steps that would ensure that a patient has access to medication. The court also made him liable for $20,000, the cost of the suit.

Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin and others, such as Larry Dupuis, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin, praised the courts decision, citing that it was a perfect distinction between rights of patients and rights of a pharmacist. “A pharmacy should accommodate its pharmacists’ religious beliefs but it can’t leave a patient high and dry,” Dupuis stated.

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PHARMACY

ScriptPro robotic dispensing adopted in two Haggen locations

BY Drew Buono

BELLINGHAM, Washington Haggen Food & Pharmacy has added ScriptPro’s robotic dispensing devices to two of its stores, one in Ferndale and the other in Barkley Village, according to published reports.

The system automatically selects a prescription vial, counts tablets or capsules into the vial and labels it with patient, drug and dosing information.

“This system offers many advantages for our customers,” said Andrew Charter, vice president of pharmacy at Haggen Inc. “It is better than partially automated systems in providing accurately counted doses. Most importantly, it frees up our pharmacists to spend more time answering the questions of customers rather than counting pills or making labels.”

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Eli Lilly, Sanofi-Aventis partner to market Cialis

BY Drew Buono

BRDIGEWATER, N.J. Sanofi-Aventis has agreed to help Eli Lilly market its impotency drug Cialis, according to CNN. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Lilly gained full rights to the medicine at the beginning of 2007, when it bought the drug from ICOS for $2.3 billion.

Cialis had worldwide sales of $1.1 billion in 2007, compared with its main competitor Pfizer’s Viagra, which saw sales of $1.76 billion.

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