Lawmaker wants law to force pharmacist to fill prescriptions

Rep. Kelly Townsend/Capitol Media Services

By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services

The way Kelly Townsend sees it, if a doctor is willing to write you a prescription for ivermectin or any other drug, a pharmacist has no right to refuse to fill it — even if it’s for a condition for which the manufacturer had not obtained federal approval for the drug.

The proposal by the Republican senator from Mesa is designed to ensure that patients get access to “off-label” medications their doctors have prescribed. Pharmacists that send customers away could be subject to discipline by the board that regulates them.

But what’s in SB 1016 is not absolute.

First, it would apply only when there is a proclaimed state of emergency.

And it would have to be for a drug that is “potentially life saving,” though Townsend’s legislation does not define what that would include.

Her proposal comes more than a year after Gov. Doug Ducey forbade pharmacists from dispensing hydroxychloroquine or chlorquine unless they have a prescription which specifically says the patient actually has COVID-19.

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