Disciplinary Action Upheld Against Pharmacist who Refused to Fill Birth Control Prescription

Tuesday the 3rd District Court of Appeals upheld the decision of the Wisconsin Pharmacy Examining Board to reprimand and limit the license of a pharmacist who refused to refill a woman’s valid prescription for birth control pills in 2002, because of his religious beliefs. The appellate court ruled that while the pharmacist had the right to refuse to provide contraceptives, he was wrong in refusing to direct the woman to a place where she could get her prescription filled.

Additionally, pharmacist Neil Noesen interfered with the woman’s efforts to obtain her birth control by refusing to transfer the prescription to another pharmacy.

“He prevented all the efforts (the woman) made to obtain her medication elsewhere when he refused to complete the transfer and gave her no options for obtaining her legally prescribed medication elsewhere,” the appellate court ruled in a decision written by Judge Michael Hoover. “The Board could therefore properly conclude that he violated a standard of care applicable to pharmacists.”

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