August 13, 2005
CVS, your pharmacy of (no) choice
More company-sanctioned pharmacist wingnuttery:
CVS pharmacists, acting on their religious or moral beliefs, can refuse to fill contraceptive prescriptions as long as they make sure the customer can get the medication when another pharmacist is on duty or at another CVS store, company officials said yesterday.
“Our policy is to fill prescriptions for all customers in a timely manner and to make sure their needs are met and that they are satisfied,” Eileen Howard Dunn, vice president of corporate communications and community relations for CVS, said yesterday. “As an employer, however, we must also accommodate a sincerely held religious conviction that may prevent a pharmacist from dispensing a certain prescription.”
Dunn’s remarks came in response to media reports of a woman who was temporarily denied the “morning-after” contraceptive pill at the CVS pharmacy on Tiogue Avenue in Coventry last Friday.
Dunn, who declined to identify either the patron or the pharmacist, said that the customer pulled up to the store’s drive-up window at about 10 p.m. The pharmacist on duty at the 24-hour store refused to fill the prescription because it conflicted with his or her personal beliefs, Dunn said.
… The incident has angered leaders of Planned Parenthood of Rhode Island, who called CVS’ actions “criminal.”
“Why are we placing undue obstacles on a woman?” Kathy Kushnir, vice president of external affairs for Planned Parenthood, said. “If a woman presents a legal prescription, it must be filled at that time – period, end of story.”
“And even if this is just one case, it’s a major case because we have a woman going from pharmacy to pharmacy trying to fill a valid prescription,” Kushnir said. “That is criminal.”
Which is a concept CVS should be familiar with:
CVS Corp., the number two US drugstore chain, said former Rhode Island state Senator John A. Celona will plead guilty to federal charges as part of investigations into business relationships between politicians and the company.
Celona, who resigned from the Rhode Island Senate March 9, 2004, was charged June 27 with ‘‘defrauding the citizens of Rhode Island,” according to a statement from the US attorney’s office. Celona also agreed to plead guilty in federal court to three counts of mail fraud.
The US attorney’s office alleged that between April 2000 and September 2003 an unidentified pharmacy company paid Celona monthly fees totaling $45,000 to persuade the lawmaker to oppose ‘‘Pharmacy Freedom of Choice” legislation and to benefit the company in other ways. Celona’s attorney, William Dimitri, identified the company as Woonsocket, R.I.-based CVS.
When a CVS executive in August 2003 told Celona it was ending his consulting agreement, according to the US attorney’s office, the executive provided Celona with a complimentary trip to a charity golf outing in San Diego.
Nice. And yes, I know Celona is/was a “Democrat.” Seems to share the reddest of Republican values, though.
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there are no repugs in RI, only dirty state level democrats. I'm lefty left, but RI could use a little gop counter-balance in the legislature. It's filthy.
Posted by: dsmaloney at August 16, 2005 12:42 PM