Appellate Court Upholds Decision Protecting Pharmacists of Concience in Illinois

Court: Illinois Can't Force Pharmacists to Sell Plan B Drug |

The 2005 Blagojevich edict forcing pharmacists to dispense the morning after pill and all other birth control drugs without question or delay, suffered a second defeat, this time in appellate court. In 2011 the trial court had found that the law was invalid because it targeted a specific group, and that Illinois law prohibits discrimination in licensing those who cannot provide a particular service due to religious beliefs.
This lawsuit, which passed its second review, was the one involving pharmacy owners, Luke VanderBleek and Glenn Kosirog. Another lawsuit, which ended in favor of conscientious objectors, involved employee pharmacists in the same state.
The Appellate court opinion is available HERE.
VanderBleek and Kosirog have been represented since 2005 by attorneys of the ACLJ and the Becket Fund.

Master of the Obvious on Proton Pump Inhibitors

Proton Pump Inhibitors Linked to C difficile Diarrhea.

Some obvious things need a study to be established as fact.

The acidity of the stomach is good for beginning the digestion of proteins and for protecting the gut from unwanted, microbial, disease causing organisms. It also contributes to immediate and later absorption of vital nutrients such as iron. When the proton pump inhibitors such as prevacid, nexium, protonix first came onto the market, and were said to be much more effective in reducing stomach acid, Pharmer told the retail patients to be careful what food they ate at the picnics and wedding receptions. It would be easier to get bacterial food poisoning while taking a proton pump inhibitor. Pharmer also began mentioning to patients that it would decrease absorption of iron.

Who paid the FDA to put proton pump inhibitors over the counter? (Weren’t the H2 blockers, e.g. cimetidine, famotidine, enough?)

People are chowing down on these strong stomach acid suppressors, using them like Tums. Diarrheal episodes abound. Clostridium difficile (among other beastly buggs) blooms throughout the nursing homes, community, and hospitals. It’s getting more and more difficult to deal with, as resistance to antibiotics increases.

Amazing! There’s an association between use of the proton pump inhibitors and clostridium infections.

Proton pump inhibitors are what you use when life style changes fail and none of the other antacids work. See a physician who isn’t so crazy with the prescription pad.

Federal judge says Washington State cannot force pharmacies to sell morning after pill

Governor Christine Gregoire is expected to appeal the federal court ruling which supports the pharmacists’ right to not dispense Plan B for reasons of conscience.
Judge Ronald Leighton noted that Washington state accepted all sorts of secular reasons for not stocking or dispensing a drug, but excluded conscience reasons. He declared the application of their rules to force pharmacists to dispense morning after pills to be unconstitutional. He noted that the Washington Board of Pharmacy stocking rules were “designed to force religious objectors to dispense Plan B.
Judge Leighton had originally blocked the application of the dispensing rule to make Stormans’ pharmacy carry Plan B, but that was overturned by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which remanded the case back to Leighton. After an 11 day trial, this new opinion was issued, which Leighton says has been created with a skeptical appeals court in mind.
Kevin Stormans, owner of Ralph’s Thriftway pharmacy and fellow pharmacists have been waging a legal battle since 2007, with the aid of The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, and Seattle law firm of Ellis, Li & McKinstry.

Pharmer congratulates these courageous Washington Pharmacists on their legal victory, and prays for their continued success.

See the Ruling by Judge Ron Leighton HERE.

‘I can’t give you the morning-after pill… it’s against my religion’ – Local – Hartlepool Mail

‘I can’t give you the morning-after pill… it’s against my religion’ – Local – Hartlepool Mail.

Another conscientious Boots Pharmacist acts up.   A 29 year old female patient, who desired to remain anonymous, was refused the morning after pill at a Boots pharmacy in Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, Hartlepool, UK.

She left the pharmacy in a state of shock, and was apparently  not able to get her pills until two days later.

Boots pharmacies has dealt with this issue before, and their spokesman acknowledges that the employees have a right to exercise conscientious objection, in refusing to dispense certain drugs.

The above linked article fails to recognize the manufacturer’s  stated multiple mechanisms of the morning after pills, and dishonestly states only  that they operate  to “stop the ovaries from releasing eggs”.


Fired pharmacist who foiled robbers sues Walgreens – Yahoo! News

Fired pharmacist who foiled robbers sues Walgreens – Yahoo! News.

Michigan pharmacist Jeremy Hoven foiled an armed robbery at his Walgreens pharmacy by using his own pistol. He has a concealed carry permit.   Walgreens subsequently fired him, saying that he violated a non-escalation policy.

Hoven’s lawsuit, filed in federal court,  contends that Wagreens is violating his second amendment rights.

Walgreens has answered the suit by denying that an armed robbery was taking place.

Hoven’s lawyers have released a video from the store security  cams, showing the incident,a robber ‘dragging an employee through the store’, and a robber dropping his weapon has he fled.

DUH, Walgreens!   Here’s the video!

See related post HERE

Pharmacist Conscience Clauses- A Free Review of the Review

Hospital Pharmacy – Volume 46 – Number 5 / May 2011 – RxLegal – Pharmacist Conscience Clauses: Continuing Debate – Journal Article.

When the “experts” are called upon to provide commentary in professional Journals, it would help if they research their work sufficiently to write something accurate and useful.

Michael Gabay, Pharm D, JD, BCPS,  has attempted to present the topic of Pharmacists conscience clauses, which have led to legislation excusing pharmacists from dispensing drugs which may operate to kill  a human organism.

Listed below are a few of the troubles with Gabay’s article:

1) The implication that RU-486 contributed to pharmacists’  conscientious objection conflicts.  Mifepristone/misoprostil  regimen was highly regulated, and dispensed by the abortion practitioners themselves, rather than pharmacists.  The article gives no mention of ulipristal acetate, the new analog of mifepristone which is now approved as a morning after pill, doses of which may be accumulated to accomplish a later abortion.  (Way to keep current, Dr. Gabay.)

2) Glaring omissions of significant, current,  judicial decisions.  Dr. Gabay is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Dept. of Pharmacy Practice, University of Illinois, Chicago. Yes, he is in Illinois, a member of the Chicago Bar Association, and inactive member of the Illinois Bar. His article failed to mention the group of lawsuits recently decided  in his own state, involving conscientiously objecting pharmacists and pharmacy owners, Walgreens and former Gov. Blagojevich. It is possible that Dr. Gabay, JD, was not aware of these significant court decisions, or perhaps he did not approve of them.

3) Garbled facts of the K Mart controversy, which actually involved a refusal to dispense progestin-only birth control drugs, not all “oral contraceptives” as the article incorrectly states.

4) Attributing the statement that oral contraceptives can prevent “implantation of a fertilized ovum”, to a person who knew better than that.  Embryology lesson begins  here:  Fertilization of the secondary oocyte, produces an evanescent form called the zygote, that immediately begins cellular division, and proceeds to the next stage.  By the time the human organism reaches the uterus to begin implantation, its embryonic form has differentiated into a blastocyst. (Dr. Gabay forgot the basic  anatomy/physiology stuff which should have been prerequisite to his Pharm D.)

5) Dr. Gabay still appears not to know what Ms. Brauer  knew about the mechanisms of birth control drugs,  and the progestin, norethindrone, in particular. The actual disagreement in the K Mart case is  still readily visible on the net:  Page 1 and Page 2.

6) The crux of ethical objection to dispensing drugs which act, to a significant extent, to stop the life of a human organism is just that.  It is not tied up in the various newer concepts  of “abortion” and “pregnancy” which exclude the early human embryo.  Abusing these terms to obfuscate the issue  violates the patients’ right to give informed consent. The law has established no cogent or consistent basis for determining which human organisms may be willfully  killed and which may not.

The complimentary review and editorializing  will end here, to prevent  reader fatigue.

The take home lesson for users of the literature in science and medicine is to read critically.   Much of it is incomplete and factually “challenged” whether it is primary literature, or review and commentary,  as in the case of Dr. Gabay’s article.

The value of extensive,  formal education (as currently supplied)  is also called into question, as it increasingly appears not to be helping with the quality of intellectual output.

*Note: This commentary has not been subjected to editorial review.

Blagojevich Rule Challenged | Daily News |

Blagojevich Rule Challenged | Daily News |

In Sangamon County, Circuit Court Judge John Belz ruled that Illinois pharmacists can’t be forced to dispense the morning after pills against their own ethical standards and religious beliefs.

Opponents promise to immediately challenge this ruling, but Atty. Francis J. Manion,  ACLJ senior counsel, who represented the conscientiously objecting pharmacists notes that the court ruling addresses specific arguments for which the Illinois state attorneys were not able to provide evidence.   For example,  they were not able to argue that a single woman had been prevented from obtaining her morning after pills by a pharmacist who would not personally provide them.  For that reason, an appeal on their part will likely be a waste of Illinois’  negative financial resources.

The Illinois edict, which was overturned in the circuit court, had basically been designed  by Planned Parenthood, and this is the case for many other unconstitutional state laws opposing the human rights of health care professionals.

The article linked addresses  the battle over   conscience rights in numerous other states, including Wisconsin, Washington, where the  pharmacists  are in trouble, and in several more states which have recently supported pharmacists of conscience.

Scroll down in this blog to see the prescriber information for  Plan B, which clearly contradicts  the false premise of the Wisconsin regulations,  forcing pharmacists to dispense Plan B (as well as all other hormonal birth control).    Expect a new  legal battle to erupt in that state as the pharmacy owners are forced to apply the legislation and fire conscientiously objecting pharmacists.  Wisconsin’s legislation targeting the pharmacists was hidden in budget bills by the democrat legislature, and passed without much notice.  The newer state government might find cost containment benefits in rescinding the legislation.

The legal battle  is  ongoing in the state of Washington,  which the pro-abortion Governor Gregoire and her Board of Pharmacy  might drive all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.   It might be the crowning achievement of their careers.

Pharmacy Owners Prevail in Court Decision on Blagojevich Edict

Illinois Pharmacy Owners have emerged victorious after six years of litigation against  the state of  Illinois edict compelling them to dispense the morning after pill.

This comes shortly after the approval of a new morning after pill, Ella, which is an analog of RU486, mifepristone.

Francis J Manion of the ACLJ, and Mark Rienzi, of Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law  teamed up as counsel to the pharmacy owners.

Deposed Governor Blagojevich’s original order addressing individual pharmacists had previously been overturned.

Judge Belz  noted that the government had made no effort to advance it’s supposed interest in supplying morning after pills to women prior to April 2010, and had specifically targeted pharmacists of conscience and their religious beliefs.

Pharmacists for Life International has stored the original letter from Blagojevich which threatened pharmacists  with loss of their license to practice if they did not dispense the morning after pill and all other  hormonal birth control products and contraceptives upon demand.

The coverage in the Chicago Tribune is very brief, does not mention the newest morning after pill, and does not mention that the original order to the pharmacists was for them to dispense all drugs labeled as “contraceptives” though most are misbranded.  It does mention an expected  (hoped for) appeal to the case.


Pharmacist Error, Methotrexate Dispensed to a Pregnant Woman

This story is making its way around pro-life news media because methotrexate can be used for early abortions.    Read on to get a more accurate view of why methotrexate is found in retail pharmacies,  the poor job that the media does in presenting medical stories, and an example of who the media uses as an expert for retail pharmacy practice.

A error occurred at a Safeway pharmacy in which methotrexate, a drug used for chemotherapy, treatment of severe inflammatory disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, and abortions, was dispensed to a pregnant woman. It is important to understand that the usual patient who comes to a retail pharmacy for methotrexate is getting it for inflammatory conditions.  The doses are  normally a few to several 2.5mg tablets, (although larger sizes are now available), and the drug  might  come in a dose pack called Rheumatrex.    It is usually taken once per week for those conditions.

This error occurred due to mixup in which  Mareena Silva, of Ft. Lupton, CO,  received a prescription intended for another patient, supposedly with the same last name and a similar first name.

Unanswered in most news coverage is whether Silva took a  single dose of several  tablets, which is frequently characteristic of  orally administered methotrexate treatments, and is not characteristic of most oral antibiotic treatments.   The usual dose for rheumatoid arthritis is quite a bit lower than the dose to kill a human embryo.

Yet to be found is whether Ms Silva was given methotrexate rescue treatment  (leucovorin calcium,) which might conteract the assault by methotrexate upon folate metabolism to its active form, which is the basis of its toxicity to the human embryo or fetus, (and various rapidly dividing cells throughout the body).

Safeway is acknowledging their liability, and has offered to pay all medical expenses which result from this error.

Error prevention: At many retail pharmacies, scanning, name and birthdate checks are  eliminating much of the possibility of these errors, but if the two Silva prescriptions were back to back and went into wrongly tagged bags before dispensing, nothing but extensive counseling with the bag opened and drug visible would have stopped this error. We know that many patients refuse such counseling, and that often there is not time to carry out extensive counseling on the use of medications at the pharmacy.

Expert commentary: This is a job for a person with retail pharmacy experience, as well as practical clinical knowledge. The media chosen point man of the day is one “distinguished service” professor from the University of Florida, Paul Doering M.S.. (ABC news  has given his credentials incorrectly.)   Doering is NOT quoted by ABC as suggestingTHE RESCUE TREATMENT for methotrexate. As expected is the media favorite recommendation of abortion, from ABC:

“Doering, who did his master’s thesis on the drug”, [way back in  1975]  “said methotrexate is the “poster child for why certain medicines shouldn’t be used in pregnancy. It’s such a well-known and potent cause of birth defects.”

In some instances taking the drug during pregnancy warrants termination, according to Doering.

“There are downsides to that and risks,” he said. “But if it were my wife or daughter, I would recommend it.”

To exemplify the quality of drug information brought to you by media experts,   here is a blast from Paul Doering’s past  from  2006 Drug Topics magazine, which is particularly salient during the time that Planned Parenthood is being called to task  for practices related  to what Doering has been quoted as advocating.

“Pointing out that OTC Plan B will be sold only in pharmacies and in health clinics,Paul Doering M.S., Distinguished Service Professor of pharmacy practice, University of Florida College of Pharmacy, said, said, “This is one of the times the FDA has publicly acknowledged that there can be or needs to be a third class of drugs. It’s a de facto third class of drugs because you can’t get Plan B in a convenience store or a supermarket or vending machine.”

Doering is skeptical about whether women under 18 will be prevented from obtaining OTC Plan B. “There are no pill police out there to enforce things. It’s voluntary enforcement on the part of pharmacists. Someone may present false identification. If you don’t believe these things are hard to enforce, just read an article on underage drinking. The intent is good, but the so-called closed system is going to be more like a sieve with leaks.”

Doering said he’s not worried about leaks because he thinks Plan B should be available for 14- and 15-year-olds. “That’s the reality,” he said. “Keeping it behind the counter and ensuring someone is 18—I would take that as a wink and a nod. If someone has a need to get a hold of Plan B, she will.”

Pharmer is hoping that Ms. Silva is now  being offered better pharmaceutical care than is available from such media chosen experts as Paul Doering,  and that she and her unborn child are spared the consequences of this pharmacy error.

Patients  should not be afraid to call up the pharmacy and question any prescription drug  which doesn’t make sense, or has an unexplained change.

There are no infallible humans,  and we’ve only gotten infallible proclamations three times in 2 millenia from the Popes.