senate Bill S1285

2011-2012 Legislative Session

Establishes duties for pharmacies when pharmacists employed by such pharmacy refuse to fill prescriptions on the basis of personal beliefs

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

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Actions

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 04, 2012 referred to higher education
Jan 06, 2011 referred to higher education

S1285 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A4659
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Education Law
Laws Affected:
Add ยง6810-a, Ed L
Versions Introduced in 2009-2010 Legislative Session:
S1521, A8949

S1285 - Bill Texts

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Establishes duties for pharmacies when pharmacists employed by such pharmacy refuse to fill prescriptions on the basis of personal beliefs; requires a pharmacy to ensure the prescription is filled by another pharmacist; requires the pharmacy to inform individuals of items not in stock and requires such items to be ordered by another pharmacist without delay; sets forth penalty provisions.

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BILL NUMBER:S1285

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the education law, in relation to establishing certain duties
for pharmacies when pharmacists employed by the pharmacies refuse to fill
prescriptions on the basis of personal beliefs

PURPOSE:
To insure that an individual's right to religious beliefs and worship
cannot impede an individual's legal access to legal prescriptions,
including contraception.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section One is the Legislative Intent.

Section Two amends the education law by adding a new section 6810-a
requiring that a pharmacy receiving and filling prescriptions shall
maintain compliance with the following provisions:

(a) if a product is in stock and a pharmacist employed by a pharmacy
refuses on the basis of a personal belief to fill a valid
prescription for such product, the pharmacy ensures, subject to the
consent of the individual presenting the prescription in any case in
which the individual has reason to know of the refusal, that the
prescription is, without delay, filled by another pharmacist employed
by such pharmacy; or

(b) if the product is not in stock:

(i) Inform individual that product is not in stock but the pharmacy
may order it;

(ii) subject to consent of individual, product is ordered without delay

A pharmacy may not employ any pharmacist who engages in conduct with
intent to prevent or deter an individual from filling a valid
prescription.

A pharmacy may not refuse to return a prescription form to an
individual after refusing to fill the prescription or order the
product.

The refusal to transfer prescription information to another pharmacy
for refill dispensing is lawful, if the individual requests such
transfer;

A pharmacist may not subject an individual to humiliation or otherwise
harassing the individual.

A pharmacist may not breach medical confidentiality with respect to the
prescription or threaten to breach such confidentiality.

Any pharmacy in violation of this provision shall be subject to a
civil penalty of not more than $5,000 dollars per day of violation,


not to exceed $500,000 dollars for all violations adjudicated in a
single proceeding.

An individual may pursue a civil cause of action against a pharmacy
for any violation of this section.

EXISTING LAW:
New bill.

JUSTIFICATION:
It is incomprehensible that in the 21st century, we are living in a
time where women are having to fight for their right to obtain birth
control pills. Something must be done to address the growing numbers
of women who can not get their birth control prescriptions fined
because of individual pharmacist's personal objections.

This bill requires a pharmacy to ensure that if a pharmacist has a
personal objection to filling a legal prescription for a drug or
device, the pharmacy will ensure that the prescription is filled
without delay by another pharmacist who does not have a personal
objection. This act also ensures that if a prescription drug is not
in stock, and it is a type of drug that the pharmacy routinely
carries, such a drug will be ordered without delay.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2010: S.1521/A.8949 (Died in Senate Higher Ed./Died in Assembly Higher
Ed.)
2009: S.1521/A.8949 (Died in Senate Higher Ed./Died in Assembly
Higher Ed.)

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
Minimal.

LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
Minimal.

EFFECTIVE DATE:;
This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after it
shall have become law.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  1285

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                             January 6, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  DUANE  -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Higher Education

AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to  establishing  certain
  duties  for  pharmacies  when  pharmacists  employed by the pharmacies
  refuse to fill prescriptions on the basis of personal beliefs

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1.  Legislative findings. The legislature finds that an indi-
vidual's right to religious beliefs and worship is a  protected,  funda-
mental  right in the state of New York and that an individual's right to
access legal contraception is a  protected,  fundamental  right  in  the
state  of  New York. The legislature thereby recognizes that an individ-
ual's right to religious belief and worship cannot  impede  an  individ-
ual's access to legal prescriptions, including contraception.
  S  2.  The  education law is amended by adding a new section 6810-a to
read as follows:
  S 6810-A. DUTIES OF A PHARMACY; FILLING VALID  PRESCRIPTIONS.  1.    A
PHARMACY  RECEIVING  AND FILLING PRESCRIPTIONS SHALL MAINTAIN COMPLIANCE
WITH THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS:
  (A) IF A PRODUCT IS IN STOCK AND A PHARMACIST EMPLOYED BY  A  PHARMACY
REFUSES  ON  THE BASIS OF A PERSONAL BELIEF TO FILL A VALID PRESCRIPTION
FOR SUCH PRODUCT, THE PHARMACY ENSURES, SUBJECT TO THE  CONSENT  OF  THE
INDIVIDUAL PRESENTING THE PRESCRIPTION IN ANY CASE IN WHICH THE INDIVID-
UAL HAS REASON TO KNOW OF THE REFUSAL, THAT THE PRESCRIPTION IS, WITHOUT
DELAY, FILLED BY ANOTHER PHARMACIST EMPLOYED BY SUCH PHARMACY; OR
  (B)  SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF SUBPARAGRAPH (II) OF THIS PARAGRAPH,
IF A PRODUCT IS NOT IN STOCK AND A PHARMACIST EMPLOYED BY  THE  PHARMACY
REFUSES  ON  THE  BASIS OF A PERSONAL BELIEF OR ON THE BASIS OF PHARMACY
POLICY TO ORDER OR TO OFFER TO ORDER THE PRODUCT WHEN PRESENTED  WITH  A
VALID PRESCRIPTION FOR THE PRODUCT, THE PHARMACY SHALL ENSURE:

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD01130-01-1

S. 1285                             2

  (I)  THAT  THE  INDIVIDUAL  PRESENTING THE PRESCRIPTION IS IMMEDIATELY
INFORMED THAT THE PRODUCT IS NOT IN STOCK BUT  MAY  BE  ORDERED  BY  THE
PHARMACY; AND
  (II)  SUBJECT  TO  THE CONSENT OF THE INDIVIDUAL, THAT THE PRODUCT IS,
WITHOUT DELAY, ORDERED BY ANOTHER PHARMACIST EMPLOYED BY SUCH PHARMACY.
  2. THE PHARMACY SHALL NOT EMPLOY ANY PHARMACIST  WHO  ENGAGES  IN  ANY
CONDUCT WITH THE INTENT TO PREVENT OR DETER AN INDIVIDUAL FROM FILLING A
VALID  PRESCRIPTION  FOR  A PRODUCT OR FROM ORDERING SUCH PRODUCT, OTHER
THAN THE SPECIFIC CONDUCT DESCRIBED IN SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS  SECTION,
INCLUDING:
  (A)  THE REFUSAL TO RETURN A PRESCRIPTION FORM TO THE INDIVIDUAL AFTER
REFUSING TO FILL THE PRESCRIPTION OR ORDER THE PRODUCT, IF THE  INDIVID-
UAL REQUESTS THE RETURN OF SUCH FORM;
  (B)  THE REFUSAL TO TRANSFER PRESCRIPTION INFORMATION TO ANOTHER PHAR-
MACY FOR REFILL DISPENSING WHEN SUCH A TRANSFER IS LAWFUL, IF THE  INDI-
VIDUAL REQUESTS SUCH TRANSFER;
  (C)  SUBJECTING  THE  INDIVIDUAL TO HUMILIATION OR OTHERWISE HARASSING
THE INDIVIDUAL; OR
  (D) BREACHING MEDICAL CONFIDENTIALITY WITH RESPECT TO THE PRESCRIPTION
OR THREATENING TO BREACH SUCH CONFIDENTIALITY.
  3. PRODUCTS THAT ARE NOT ORDINARILY  STOCKED  SHALL  APPLY  ONLY  WITH
RESPECT  TO  A  PHARMACY ORDERING A PARTICULAR PRODUCT FOR AN INDIVIDUAL
PRESENTING A VALID PRESCRIPTION FOR THE PRODUCT, AND  DOES  NOT  REQUIRE
THE  PHARMACY TO KEEP SUCH PRODUCT IN STOCK; PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT THE
PROVISIONS OF THIS SUBDIVISION HAVE NO APPLICABILITY WITH RESPECT  TO  A
PRODUCT  FOR  A  HEALTH CONDITION IF THE PHARMACY DOES NOT KEEP IN STOCK
ANY PRODUCT FOR SUCH CONDITION.
  4. ANY PHARMACY IN VIOLATION OF THE PROVISIONS OF THIS  SECTION  SHALL
BE SUBJECT TO A CIVIL PENALTY OF NOT MORE THAN FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS PER
DAY  OF  VIOLATION,  NOT TO EXCEED FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR ALL
VIOLATIONS ADJUDICATED IN A SINGLE PROCEEDING.
  5. ANY PERSON AGGRIEVED AS A RESULT OF A VIOLATION OF A REQUIREMENT OF
SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION MAY, IN ANY COURT OF COMPETENT JURISDIC-
TION, COMMENCE A CIVIL ACTION AGAINST THE PHARMACY  INVOLVED  TO  OBTAIN
APPROPRIATE  RELIEF,  INCLUDING  ACTUAL AND PUNITIVE DAMAGES, INJUNCTIVE
RELIEF, AND A REASONABLE ATTORNEY'S FEE AND COST.
  6. A CIVIL ACTION PURSUED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SUBDIVISION FOUR  OR
FIVE  OF  THIS SECTION MAY NOT BE COMMENCED AGAINST A PHARMACY AFTER THE
EXPIRATION OF THE FIVE-YEAR PERIOD BEGINNING ON THE DATE  ON  WHICH  THE
PHARMACY ALLEGEDLY ENGAGED IN THE VIOLATION INVOLVED.
  7.  FOR  THE  PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, THE FOLLOWING TERMS SHALL HAVE
THE FOLLOWING MEANINGS:
  (A) THE TERM "EMPLOY", WITH RESPECT TO THE SERVICES OF  A  PHARMACIST,
INCLUDES ENTERING INTO A CONTRACT FOR THE PROVISIONS OF SUCH SERVICES;
  (B)  THE  TERM  "WITHOUT  DELAY", WITH RESPECT TO A PHARMACY FILLING A
PRESCRIPTION FOR A PRODUCT OR ORDERING THE  PRODUCT,  MEANS  WITHIN  THE
USUAL  AND CUSTOMARY TIMEFRAME AT THE PHARMACY FOR FILLING PRESCRIPTIONS
FOR PRODUCTS FOR THE HEALTH CONDITION  INVOLVED  OR  FOR  ORDERING  SUCH
PRODUCTS, RESPECTIVELY.
  S 3. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after
it shall have become a law.

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