An Atkin County jury found that a central Minnesota pharmacist did not discriminate when he refused to provide emergency contraceptives to a woman in 2019. The pharmacist gave “belief” as the reason for refusing to fill the prescription for emergency contraception. Although the jury decided that the woman’s rights had not been violated, it did say that the emotional damage caused by the decision amounted to $25,000. The decision comes on the heels of the overturn of Roe v. Wade, leaving pharmacists to grapple with the legal implications of prescribing (or refusing to prescribe) certain medications.
Minnesota pharmacists may be able to prescribe and dispense life-saving HIV drugs soon. A new bill, HF 3864, would allow pharmacists to order, conduct, and interpret laboratory tests for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). The bill would also include mandatory coverage of these services, opening up access to thousands of patients across the state. Groups like the Minnesota Pharmacists Association, Minnesota Retailers Association, and NCPA all advocate for the bill’s passage as it awaits hearings in the House of Representatives.
In July 2021, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed the Alec Smith InsulinAffordability Act, after a 26-year-old Minnesotan died from diabetes complications, after being being unable to afford treatment. The law grants Minnesota pharmacies the ability to dispense an emergency 30-day supply of insulin for a $35 co-pay. One year later, the law has helped 465 Minnesotans access life-saving insulin.