Eye On Boise

Pharmacy 'conscience' bill introduced

Rep. Tom Loertscher, chairman of the House State Affairs Committee, pitches his bill to excuse pharmacists or pharmacies from filling prescriptions that violate their conscience. The committee voted to introduce the measure and hold full hearings on it, though two members objected. (Betsy Russell / The Spokesman-Review)
Rep. Tom Loertscher, chairman of the House State Affairs Committee, pitches his bill to excuse pharmacists or pharmacies from filling prescriptions that violate their conscience. The committee voted to introduce the measure and hold full hearings on it, though two members objected. (Betsy Russell / The Spokesman-Review)

House State Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Loertscher this morning asked his committee to introduce his bill to excuse pharmacists and pharmacies from any liability if they refuse to fill a prescription based on their conscience. Rep. Elfreda Higgins, D-Boise, noted that the bill covers any medication. If a small-town resident is turned away from the town's only pharmacy for a needed medication, she asked, "Where would they go?" Loertscher said the bill allows the pharmacy or pharmacist to refer the patient elsewhere. The bill was introduced, but two committee members voted against the move. "It's my understanding that the Idaho Pharmacy Association is not in support of this," said Rep. Anne Pasley-Stuart, D-Boise. "We need to make certain that people get the medications they need." The committee's vote clears the way for a full hearing on the bill.




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