Published Online: Sunday, January 1, 2006

A survey of 859 pharmacists, conducted by HCD Research, found that 39% of the respondents were against state laws that would compel them to fill prescriptions for the morning-after pill. The remaining 61% said that overall they supported laws requiring pharmacists to fill prescriptions. The majority, however, favored having the choice of referring patients to a different pharmacist if they had issues with the prescription.

The results of the survey were released within days of 4 Walgreen Co pharmacists being put on unpaid leave for refusing to fill prescriptions for the morning-after pill. Walgreens' policy allows pharmacists to refuse to prescribe medications based on their moral beliefs, except where state law prohibits, provided that they take steps to have the prescription filled elsewhere. When asked about the Walgreen case, 63% of the respondents thought that the pharmacists should not have been put on unpaid leave for their refusal to fill the prescription. Yet, 29% supported the company's action.

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