Today, a decade after Washington’s pharmacy rulemaking process began, a panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed that Washington pharmacies must dispense all legal medications to patients on site, without discrimination or delay.
The Court’s unanimous decision in Stormans Inc. v. Wiesman—in which an Olympia-based pharmacy and two of its pharmacists challenged the pharmacy rules, asserting that filling prescriptions for emergency contraception violated their religious freedom—upheld the constitutionality of the rules, holding that they apply to everyone equally and are not discriminatory.
In 2005, Legal Voice advocated before the Washington Board of Pharmacy for these rules and, once the rules were challenged in 2007, we intervened in the lawsuit on behalf of five women of reproductive age and two HIV-positive patients to ensure all patients’ access to safe, legal, and necessary health care.
We are thrilled that our years of advocacy, and the rights of patients across the state, have been vindicated today. The Court affirmed that the rules apply to everyone, and patients’ rights—not pharmacists’ religious beliefs—come first.