Reprinted from the January 2008 New Jersey Board of Pharmacy Newsletter.
Senate Bill 1195 was signed by Governor Jon Corzine on November 2, 2007, establishing a pharmacy’s duty to fill a prescription for in-stock medications or devices without delay, notwithstanding sincerely held moral, philosophical, or religious beliefs of a pharmacist. The text of the act is given below:
AN ACT concerning the dispensing of medications and supplementing P.L.2003, c.280 (C.45:14-40 et seq.).
BE IT ENACTED by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
45:14-67.1 Duty of pharmacy to fill certain prescriptions
1.a. A pharmacy practice site has a duty to properly fill lawful prescriptions for prescription drugs or devices that it carries for customers, without undue delay, despite any conflicts of employees to filling a prescription and dispensing a particular prescription drug or device due to sincerely held moral, philosophical or religious beliefs.
b. If a pharmacy practice site does not have in stock a prescription drug or device that it carries, and a patient presents a prescription for that drug or device, the pharmacy practice site shall offer:
(1) to obtain the drug or device under its standard expedited ordering procedures; or
(2) to locate a pharmacy (of the patient’s choice) that is reasonably accessible to the patient and has the drug or device in stock, and transfer the prescription there in accordance with the pharmacy practice site’s standard procedures.
The pharmacy practice site shall perform the patient’s chosen option without delay. If the patient so requests, the pharmacist shall return an unfilled prescription to the patient.
c. If a pharmacy practice site does not carry a prescription drug or device, and a patient presents a prescription for that drug or device, the pharmacy practice site shall offer to locate a pharmacy that is reasonably accessible to the patient and has the drug or device in stock.
d. A person who believes that a violation of this section has occurred may report the violation to the New Jersey State Board of Pharmacy.
2. This act shall take effect immediately.