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political ethics question

Today Plan B, the emergency contraception medicine, was approved by the FDA for sale over the counter. Yay! (Only to women 18 and over. Boo!)

I have been boycotting Walgreens and Target because they were allowing pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions for Plan B. (See http://www.saveroe.com/fillmypillsnow/scored).

Boycotting Walgreens is actually a bit of a sacrifice because it's my within-walking-distance open-24-hours store and it's right next to Trader Joe's where I frequently shop...without Walgreens, if I want a drugstore thing I have to plan a special trip.

So I'm considering not boycotting Walgreens any more, at least until they do something else I don't approve of.

On the other hand, they didn't actually change their policy, the problem got resolved another way (and the women under 18 might still have problems getting Plan B from Walgreens).

What would you do under the circumstances, and why?


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 24th, 2006 07:05 pm (UTC)
I might walk into that Walgreens and ask for Plan B. Then either buy it if they're doing the right thing, or explain that you're going to continue to boycott because they're refusing to stock a medication that you and other women may need.
Aug. 24th, 2006 08:54 pm (UTC)
That's exactly what I was about to suggest. Remember, it's still not OTC in the sense of "on the shelves" -- you're going to have to ask for it at the pharmacy window, and provide proof of age. If the pharmacist is a "moral superiority" twit, he may still refuse to give it to you even without a prescription.
Aug. 24th, 2006 09:18 pm (UTC)
Thing is, I'm pretty sure that California isn't one of the states full of pharmacists who refuse to fill such prescriptions.
Aug. 24th, 2006 07:52 pm (UTC)
Dang-- maybe I'll have to stop getting my meds through Walgreens mail order service, even though it reduces my co-pay. I had looked through Planned Parenthood's table of which pharmacies had PP-approved policies and which didn't, but I couldn't remember if Walgreens was approved or not.

I used to use K-mart pharmacy all the time and told them I was grateful that they had Plan B friendly policies.
Aug. 24th, 2006 08:01 pm (UTC)
Yes! It's to bad they made it 18 and over but I understand their thinking. Hopefully the girls under 18 have friends over or other ways to get it if they need.

Thanks for the heads up on target, I knew about wallmart.

Aug. 24th, 2006 08:36 pm (UTC)
One thing you could probably do pretty easily would be to ask the head pharmacist directly if she would fill a doctor's prescription for it (chances are YES because we live in California) and if she has written or called the home office recently to express her thoughts. Or consider writing a real letter to Walgreens and asking for a response.

Regardless of which way you go, it's not clearly ethical or unethical one way or another... it's a matter of degree. If you had two choices, equally convenient, then you could make a choice with little or no sacrifice to lend a small amount of support to the boycott's impact. But if the inconvenience to you far outweighs the impact you would be able to have on the corporation, neither choice is clearly "best".
Aug. 24th, 2006 09:20 pm (UTC)
Walgreens is already on record for allowing their pharmacists to refuse to dispense prescriptions that are against their religious beliefs. This usually means only Plan B, but some pharmacists refuse to dispense birth control pills, too.
Aug. 25th, 2006 02:48 am (UTC)
I think their leaving the door open like that means I'm going to have to continue to boycott them. It's not just Plan B for me, though of course I'm happy it's more available now.
Aug. 25th, 2006 07:29 pm (UTC)
Locally I was boycotting Osco because they had the condoms under lock and key, while Walgreens had them on the shelf. Osco was replaced by CVS, and I think they also lock up the condoms. grrrrr.
Aug. 25th, 2006 08:32 pm (UTC)
Aug. 26th, 2006 02:13 pm (UTC)
There used to be a drugstore near me that locked up condoms, diabetes test strips, and yeast infection ointments. And I think pregnancy test kits. The pharmacist I asked said they were all prime targets for shoplifters, because of cost and size. I don't know if this was a prediction by store management, or based on what actually got shoplifted.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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