May 16, 2006

Bernadine Healy on the Ask Me Campaign to Store Up Morning After Pills

Someone named Cindy at US News emailed me, for whatever reason, a link to this editorial by Bernadine Healy, in which she discusses
the ACOG campaign, called "Ask me," [which] effectively creates an over-the-counter option that subverts the FDA ruling. Doctors will offer information on the drug and prescriptions to women who, well, just ask. Patients can either keep the paper as Rx-in-waiting or have the prescription filled and ready in their medicine cabinets--which allows them to use the pills at their own discretion. Helping to spread the word are "Ask me" buttons, national ads, and posters for doctors' offices reminding women that "accidents happen" and "morning afters can be tough."
Her concern is that pharmacists who ridiculously believe that they can refuse to provide the morning-after pill on moral grounds and still be pharmacists won't provide the pill will put women in a precarious position:
Those pharmacies unwilling to dispense the morning-after pill should be mandated to post some version of the "accidents happen" poster, with the caveat "but some other pharmacy will have to help you if you want Plan B." And individual pharmacists who refuse to fill such prescriptions should wear buttons that say simply, "Don't ask."
Ok, but really, wouldn't it just be easier to make it clear that pharmacists ought not have the power to refuse to provide medications that are FDA approved and for which a physician has written a prescription?

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