Pharmacies

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — Washington state cannot force pharmacies to sell Plan B or other emergency contraceptives, a federal judge ruled Wednesday, saying the state's true goal was to suppress religious objections by druggists — not to promote timely access to the medicines for people who need them.

U.S. District Judge Ronald Leighton heard closing arguments earlier this month in a lawsuit that claimed state rules violate the constitutional rights of pharmacists by requiring them to dispense such medicine.

TACOMA, Wash. — A federal judge plans to rule on whether Washington state can require pharmacies to stock and sell Plan B or other emergency contraceptives.

Washington requires pharmacies to sell any drug that's in demand. Plan B can prevent pregnancy if taken within 72 hours after sex and is available without a prescription to anyone over 17.

Ralph's Thriftway in Olympia and two licensed pharmacists sued in 2007, saying that dispensing Plan B would infringe on their religious beliefs because it can prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg.

TACOMA, Wash. — A federal judge plans to rule on whether Washington state can require pharmacies to stock and sell Plan B or other emergency contraceptives.

Washington requires pharmacies to sell any drug that's in demand. Plan B can prevent pregnancy if taken within 72 hours after sex and is available without a prescription to anyone over 17.

A follow up now to a story we brought you last week about doctors who get paid by drug makers to give promotional talks. The top three earning doctors in the Northwest did not return our calls for that story. But later a psychiatrist in Tacoma did. And he makes no apologies for accepting pharmaceutical payments.

SuperFantastic (Bruce) / flickr.com

Why were "bath salts" for sale in head shops? Because they contained stimulants known as substituted cathinones that can affect user behavior and judgment. They've been growing in popularity as a legal alternative to cocaine or methamphetamine.

As of April 15th, they're no longer legal in Washington; the state Board of Pharmacy has approved emergency rules classifying the salts as Class I controlled substances, banning their manufacture, sale, delivery and possession.

AP

Washington's Board of Pharmacy has decided to not change a rule that prohibits pharmacies from refusing to dispense all legal drugs, including the morning-after contraceptive "Plan B."