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View Diary: Target Stores and Emergency Contraception (77 comments)

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    Dear Target Executives (Jennifer Hanson, et al),

    Target claims to place a high priority on your role as a community pharmacy a community pharmacy and your obligation to meet the needs of the patients Target serves.  It's too bad that Target's execution of this lofty goal is unfairly hitting women of childbearing age below the belt with the new practice of 'respecting the diversity of our team', which results in women being denied legal, doctor prescribed emergency contraceptives.

    "Target has a policy that ensures a guest's prescription for emergency contraception is filled, whether at Target or at a different pharmacy, in a timely and respectful manner.  This policy meets the health care needs of our guests while respecting the diversity of our team members."

    In a nutshell, the availability of an FDA approved emergency medication to customers shouldn't be contingent upon arbitrary assignment of individual pharamcists.  It's an emergency treatment - it must be taken within a very short time span, and pharmacists exploiting this small window are aming to prevent utilization.  Target supporting this blockade of emergency care as a diversity issue is simply horrendous and horribly callous to the women in need.

    The diversity of your team members shouldn't force any woman to take the extra risk, hassle and time to drive around, or take buses or cabs, just to find a pharmacy that does fulfill legal emergency contraception perscriptions. Maybe the real problem is the assignments of your diverse team. Team members who can't fulfill their duty probably don't belong at the front counter serving American citizens who expect a pharmacy to be able to deliver FDA approved medications per physician orders.

    Is Target at least willing identify the pharmacy that actually provides these services and the most rapid means of conveyance there?  Please at least partner with those who will and don't send women chasing around in the dark.  Stories of women having to do that will make the papers and news.

    Your willingness to allow your staff to unilaterally decide when to deprive women of FDA approved medications is a shocking abbrogation of professional conduct standards.  Pharmacists who cannot honor the doctor/patient relationship and perscriptions for care should be not assigned duty alone, but with those who will provide the service.

    Allowing minority religious groups to effectively blockade reproductive medical care for fellow citizens in a free country is a terrifying development and a form of tyranny of the minority.  Please reverse this practise immediately!

    What are you doing to ensure the women receive back their written prescription form?  

    What are you doing to ensure they have transportation to an open pharmacy that can handle their needs?  

    Will Target be providing the funds necessary to raise children and support the mothers resulting from the failure to get needed medication to stop implantation?

    Will Target be funding the legal defense for pharmacists who take it upon themselves to deny emergency contraception medications?

    Why not reassign pharmacists unwilling to dispense (whatever a doctor orders) to another position?  Or make sure they are accompanied by another pharmacist who is able to comply with doctor's orders?

    Target can do far better than this, and must.  Women who now know they can't count on Target will take their business elsewhere.  Who mostly shops at Target?  Why, isn't it women of child-bearing age?

    Pharmacists blocking this sort of transaction may be a violation of federal interstate commerce laws, since these medications are shipped from one state to be sold in another.  Might want to have your legal review Target's expose on this front. I imagine there are lawyers eager to research this opportunity for a class action suit.  A citizen's group plus a pharmacy company suing Target just might get some intriguing national attention.

    I am not a lawyer, but isn't there interstate commerce clauses that should override considerations here?  I also would think pharmaceutical companies would not tolerate the sale of their product blocked due to a local pharamcist objecting.

    No religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States." -- U.S. Constitution, Article VI

    by antirove on Wed Oct 19, 2005 at 02:25:04 PM PDT

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