A Concerned Pharmacist of Conscience speaks out on the nebulous “details” with OTC approval of the abortifacient Plan B

Is anyone addressing how the OTC sales of Plan B will actually be implemented, in practical terms? For example, must the OTC product be purchased always by the user? We don’t require this now of even prescriptions on Sudafed. I am asking because of my retail experience with young to middle-aged men requesting the product.

I could not (and would not) sell it to them, but under the OTC status, would the pharmacist be required to sell it to a male if he said he was buying it for his partner who is over 18? What if he says she’s outside in the car, and produces her driver’s license? When will pharmacists be allowed to refuse? What if he says she’s too embarrassed and doesn’t want to come in? What if he comes to the drive-up window, and she is sitting on the passenger side so the pharmacist cannot clearly see her?

These are not silly scenarios – similar situations arose in my pharmacy with men in my area who erroneously believed the product was OTC and wanted to purchase it. This population will not go away because of the status change to OTC, but I cannot find where the actual implementation of this policy is outlined, i.e. must the user of the product actually present herself, and if she does not, can her partner buy it?

Another way to harass night shift (and all shifts) pharmacists is in the making. Maybe these concerns are addressed in the rulemaking, but I cannot find it. The “suits” writing these policies have no idea how ridiculous this will become, and the kind of nonsense we see.

A Concerned Pharmacist of Conscience


22 Sept 2006