New Washington Prescription Drug Law In Effect - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

New Washington Prescription Drug Law In Effect

KENNEWICK, Wash. -- A new Washington State law is in effect as of Thursday and it's already causing controversy.

The new pharmacy dispensing rule makes pharmacists responsible for ensuring their patients get the medicine they are prescribed, whether the pharmacist agrees with the medicine or not.

The controversy began with the emergency contraceptive pill, Plan B.

Jennifer Aalgaard of Planned Parenthood said, "It's very exciting that our state is recognizing that individuals have the right to get legal and valid prescriptions at a pharmacy at any place in the state."

With the passing of the new law pharmacists can no longer refuse to fill a prescription based on moral or religious beliefs.

Kennewick resident, Merilynn Erhart said, "It should be fair across the board for everyone no matter what the drug is that's being prescribed they should be able to obtain it at any licensed pharmacy in the state."

The law also states the morning after pill must be carried in every pharmacy, and there must be a pharmacists on duty to fill the prescriptions others won't.

A federal lawsuit has been filed by a pharmacy owner in Seattle saying that the new law contradicts their moral and religious beliefs.  But the state said these issues can't stand in the way of patients rights to drugs.

We contacted over a dozen pharmacists to get their reaction on the issue, but none would talk with us.

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