I am absolutely incensed today. Walgreens had the audacity to ask for a diagnosis from my Doctor’s office and then refused to fill a prescription today at their pharmacy! First of all, they are pharmacists not doctors and have no business asking about diagnoses when my doctor calls in a prescription for me. That’s a violation of medical privacy rights. Second of all, they have absolutely NO RIGHT to refuse to fill my prescription. The prescription is not even for contraception, which they are known for refusing to fill, but for an injection, administered at the doctor’s office, used to treat a common female condition. But that’s beside the point. Where do they get off making these kinds of decisions? Walgreens policy allows pharmacist staff to make these moral decisions for you rather than abide by state law and dispense medications. The bottom line is:
Whether a particular prescription is appropriate is a decision between a doctor and patient. States license pharmacists to fill legally-prescribed medicines, not to substitute their judgment for a doctor’s. Pharmacists have a professional and ethical obligation to serve their clients. If an individual doesn’t want to do the job of a pharmacist—to dispense legally-prescribed medicines—he or she should simply find another job.
Meanwhile, after checking with insurance to make sure the drug was covered, my doctor’s office had to write out a new script, have me drive 30 miles to pick it up, and then said I should take it somewhere else to see if they would fill it. So, I trotted my butt down to the local CVS pharmacy and had absolutely no problem when I handed them the script, probably because CVS is partnered with my drug coverage provider. They had to special order it, but they said it would be there the next day. My co-pay was $30 for a drug that costs $500 per injection.
So, as of today and until I can research it further, I am transferring all of my prescriptions to CVS (whose pharmacists have also been known to refuse prescriptions on moral grounds, but whose policy is not to allow pharmacists to make such choices without offering an alternative). I hope Walgreens gets slapped with hefty fines for trying to police our health care and for violating our rights to privacy. I also believe as a feminist that this is exactly the type of thing that women have had to fight for but that men are oblivious to. Men’s impotence prescriptions are often COVERED by insurance (which is not a life threatening or even a socially relevant condition), yet women have had to fight hard to get anything like contraception or the morning after pills covered by insurance. This is a blatant example of discrimination by the male owned health care industry against women. Yet they are blind to it because it doesn’t affect them in the long run. Apparently, having a hard on is way more important than preventing pregnancy and abortion.
I am going to go take my blood pressure medicine now.