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The Arizona Pharmacist’s Right to Refuse to Participate in Care

In Arizona, state law says that a pharmacist doesn’t have to fill a prescription for medication that can help with an abortion or a similar procedure. Furthermore, an individual cannot have a professional license revoked if he or she acts in accordance with a religious belief. According to the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy, denying medication is not considered to be unprofessional conduct, which is why it cannot be grounds for losing a license.

Pharmacists should inquire with their employer about specific company policies related to any staff members moral or religious beliefs that may be applicable to certain medical or pharmaceutical therapies.  The right to freely practice religion is guaranteed in the United States Constitution, but that right only restricts government entities from imposing its will on the practice of religion.

Contact our office if you are a pharmacist with questions about your rights and potential consequences when refusing to dispense a medication.

There are instances in which pharmacists can reject medications regardless of who they are serving. This may be true if a medication could interact with another that a patient is currently taking or if there is another reason to believe it could put a person in danger.  A pharmacists right to refuse to participate is broader than just moral and religious objections.

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