Walgreens steps up in the War on Science

by robopanda

Link goes to yahoo news:
http://tinyurl.com/8puj3

ST. LOUIS – Walgreen Co. said it has put four Illinois pharmacists in the St. Louis area on unpaid leave for refusing to fill prescriptions for emergency contraception in violation of a state rule.
[…]
A rule imposed by Gov. Rod Blagojevich in April requires Illinois pharmacies that sell contraceptives approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to fill prescriptions for emergency birth control. Pharmacies that do not fill prescriptions for any type of contraception are not required to follow the rule.

I’d like to clear the air with a couple of facts before I continue on with the next excerpt:

(1) The emergency contraceptive mentioned by this article is Plan B, which contains levonorgestrel. Levonorgestrel, by the way, is often paired with ethinyl estradiol and sold as a regular birth control under several different names. Here is a partial list of those names: Alesse, Desogen, Levora, Loestrin, Mircette, Necon, Ortho-Cept, Ortho-Cyclen, Ortho-Novum, Ortho Tri-Cyclen, Triphasil, Zovia, etc. etc. The point of such a long (yet truncated) list? To point out that levonorgestral is a drug these protesting pharmacists are already dispensing literally dozens of packets of every single week. To suddenly balk at dispensing Plan B is to feign medical ignorance for political gain. It’s dishonest. It’s incompetent. It’s denying people access to healthcare. It makes me a little ashamed to be a pharmacy technician if these are the people who could be my boss.

(2) If it isn’t obvious already, Levonorgestrel is not an abortive agent. It is not the same thing as the abortive agent RU-486 (mifepristone). Oh, and Mifepristone, by the way, CAN NOT be stocked or dispensed at any drug store in the United States. Mifepristone is administered inside a doctors office after a series of hoops have been jumped through. I’d be willing to bet not a single one of the pharmacists threatening to sue Walgreens has ever even seen a package of Mifepristone in their entire lives, and they probably never will. I know I haven’t. Oh, wait, I have: on the news. So it must be everywhere, right?

Okay, back to the article:

Ed Martin, an attorney for the pharmacists, on Tuesday called the discipline “pretty disturbing” and said they would consider legal action if Walgreen doesn’t reconsider.

At least six other pharmacists have sued over the rule, claiming it forces them to violate their religious beliefs. Many of those lawsuits were filed by Americans United for Life, the Chicago public interest law firm with which Martin is affiliated.

Sue for what? Being expected to dispense the same non-abortive drug you already dispense dozens of times every week? Oh, the horror, you’re expected to do your jobs and have a fundamental grasp of pharmacology. Boo hoo.

I’d just like to take another moment to point out something else that pisses me off. At the bottom of the article, look at the two “on the net” links they give: the Walgreens website, and “Americans United for Life”. Ah great. So they can direct you to send hate mail to Walgreens and a donation to AUL. Where’s the Planned Parenthood link? Where’s the mention of the fact that Plan-B is not an abortive agent? So much for “liberal media”.

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