CONTRACEPTIVE SIGNS PLANNED FOR ILLINOIS PHARMACIES
The increasingly contentious"conscience-clause" battle betweenIllinois pharmacists and thestate's governor over access toemergency contraceptives is heatingup again. The latest wrinkle isnew rules proposed by the state'sDepartment of Financial and ProfessionalRegulation requiringevery Illinois pharmacy to post asign with information about awoman's right to obtain prescriptionsto prevent pregnancy.
That proposal was prompted byreports that some pharmacists inthe state have been attempting toget around new state rules requiringall pharmacies to carry contraceptiveproducts. Under the plan,the sign will disclose that the pharmacymust take one of the followingactions: provide a medicallyacceptable alternative drug; orderthe medication from the pharmacy'ssupplier if the patient requestsit; transfer the prescription to a differentpharmacy per the patient'srequest; and return the prescriptionorder to the patient if asked.
The sign also will provide patientswith a toll-free pharmacyhot-line number and a Web siteaddress if they wish to file a complaintfor unfair treatment by thepharmacy.
Additionally, Gov Rod R. Blagojevich(D, Ill) has fired off a newround of letters to all of the state'slicensed pharmacists remindingthem of their legal obligation to fillprescriptions for contraceptiveswithout delay.