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WY Pharmacy board gets slammed with feedback on proposal

“The option of transferring the prescription to another pharmacy is not a valid option in our state. There are may rural communities with only one pharmacy for many miles.”
— Dr. Lisa Williams, a Cody, Wyoming OB/GYN, in a letter to the State Board of Pharmacy

In a follow-up to last week’s post, Wyoming pharmacists may be allowed to refuse to dispense AIDS meds, Blender Michelle points to a positive AP story that shows strong opposition to the proposed Board of Pharmacy rule change, which would allow druggists to refuse to fill prescriptions based on religious convictions.

Thankfully some good folks out there with common sense are letting the Board know this is bullsh*t.

Just days before the Wyoming State Board of Pharmacy was to consider a rule change that would allow pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions based on personal objections, the board had received more than 100 letters objecting to the rule – and not a single letter of support.

The board was scheduled to hear public comments on the proposed rule Wednesday in Jackson, but scores of people sent their comments ahead of time.

The letters – mailed, faxed and e-mailed to the pharmacy board’s Casper office and provided to The Associated Press – showed opposition to the rule from all corners of the state. Writers most often cited the state’s rural nature, the long distances between pharmacies and concern about women being denied certain medications as their reasons for opposing the rule change.

An AP review of state pharmacy licenses found at least 11 communities with only one pharmacy; because the records included some hospitals and clinics that had pharmacy licenses but did not offer retail services, several other communities may have fewer actual pharmacies than they had licenses.

“As a practicing Ob/Gyn physician in Cody, I am concerned about the choice of the pharmacist to dispense medications to a patient based on the personal views of the pharmacist,” wrote Dr. Lisa Williams. “This could limit the dispensing of oral contraceptives, emergency contraception, continued dispensing of antidepressants or other medications that the pharmacist disapproves of.”

Some winger pharmacists and members of Right to Life Teton County were in favor of the proposal, but didn’t forward support during the public comment period. At this point, the executive director of the pharmacist board, Jim Carder, indicated that the board would likely to reconsider the issue at a future meeting, based on the heavy volume of public feedback received.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding