An Arizona girl has criticized Walgreens on social media, saying a pharmacist on the chain refused to fill her prescription for a medication prescribed to induce miscarriage after she was instructed her 9-week-old fetus had stopped creating.
Walgreens says it permits pharmacists to step away from filling a prescription “for which they have a moral objection,” however that they’re required to “refer the prescription to another pharmacist or manager on duty to meet the patient’s needs in a timely manner.” The girl, Nicole Mone Arteaga, mentioned she was later ready to choose up her prescription from one other Walgreens retailer.
In a 1-star Yelp review of the Walgreens branch in Peoria, Arizona, the place she initially tried to gather her remedy Thursday, Arteaga mentioned she had dropped off her prescription Wednesday and went to gather the remedy the following day. She mentioned her physician had been monitoring her being pregnant intently due to earlier miscarriages.
“Each week I went for my ultra sound praying to see progress and hear the sound of little heartbeat. Unfortunately, development isn’t happening and my body is slowly getting ready to miscarry. My (doctor) gave me two choices D & C or a prescription that will help induce bleeding and discharge in the comfort of my home,” she wrote.
“D&C,” often known as dilation and curettage, is a surgical procedure to remove tissue from the uterus. In the case of a fetus failing to develop, it’s carried out to stop an infection or heavy bleeding.
Walgreens mentioned in a assertion Monday that it’s wanting into the matter “to ensure our patients’ needs are handled properly.”
“After learning what happened, we reached out to the patient and apologized for how the situation was handled. To respect the sincerely held beliefs of our pharmacists while at the same time meeting the needs of our patients, our policy allows pharmacists to step away from filling a prescription for which they have a moral objection. At the same time, they are also required to refer the prescription to another pharmacist or manager on duty to meet the patient’s needs in a timely manner,” Walgreens mentioned in a assertion emailed to CNN.
‘I left Walgreens in tears’
“Last night I went to pick up my medication at my local Walgreens only to be denied the prescription I need. I stood at the mercy of this pharmacist explaining my situation in front of my 7-year-old, and five customers standing behind only to be denied because of his ethical beliefs,” she wrote in a Facebook post Friday.
“I get it we all have our beliefs. But what he failed to understand is this isn’t the situation I had hoped for, this isn’t something I wanted. This is something I have zero control over.”
In feedback on CNN, Arteaga mentioned she felt a sense of helplessness when the pharmacist mentioned he wasn’t going to fill the prescription.
“The world felt like it was closing in and I was thinking, this is my body and I’m losing control,” she mentioned.
“I couldn’t control the fact that my body wasn’t going to support this pregnancy. And I wanted this baby. I couldn’t control what my body was doing and now here I am trying to make my decision and what I’m going to do, and this person was taking that away from me and making that choice for me.”
Arteaga described her miscarriage as an emotional curler coaster and mentioned the pharmacist had “no idea what it’s like to want nothing more than to carry a child to full term and be unable to do so.”
“I left Walgreens in tears, ashamed and feeling humiliated by a man who knows nothing of my struggles but feels it is his right to deny medication prescribed to me by my doctor,” she mentioned.
Arteaga mentioned she wouldn’t often share such a story however didn’t need different girls to have the identical expertise at a time “when you are vulnerable and already suffering.”
In an replace to her publish, Arteaga mentioned she later obtained an e mail notification that her prescription was prepared at a totally different Walgreens location. She mentioned she collected it after first revisiting her physician to guarantee he may assist her fill the script.
Arteaga mentioned she spoke to a retailer supervisor “who did not seem happy about what had happened” and had additionally contacted Walgreens company workplace.
“I have filed a complaint with the Arizona Board of Pharmacy. At this time I have done what I can to report the situation. Thank you to those who have shown love and support,” she mentioned.
By early Monday, her publish had been shared greater than 30,000 occasions and favored greater than 55,000 occasions.
On Twitter, a user asked Walgreens Saturday: “What is your policy regarding dispensing prescribed medication? (Do) your pharmacists have the right to refuse service based upon their religious beliefs? Do they work for Walgreens or for themselves?”
The chain tweeted in response: “Our policy allows pharmacists to step away from filling a prescription for which they have a moral objection. At the same time, they are also required to refer the prescription to another pharmacist or manager on duty to meet the patient’s needs in a timely manner.”
Arizona is certainly one of six states where pharmacists can refuse dispensing emergency contraception drugs.
Under state law, Arizona pharmacies should require staff to notify them of medication they might decline to fill due to “sincerely held religious beliefs.”
“On receiving this notification, the pharmacy must attempt to accommodate the employee if the accommodation can be made without causing undue hardship to the pharmacy or its customers.”
If prospects ask for medication not in inventory, the pharmacy should make efforts to make sure the script is crammed in a well timed trend.
“A pharmacy must treat each customer with respect and dignity, make good faith efforts not to embarrass or demean the customer and attempt to ensure a seamless delivery of prescription services…” the regulation states.