Thursday, December 01, 2005

Teratogens, Pharmacists and Plan B

I've decided to put a more detailed response to Wilfred McClay's Commentary article on hold, as this is matter of some personal interest to me.

I began taking Peg-Intron with Ribavirin for Hepatitis C the last weekend of July. Not being able to locate my doctor for a month (while I was on treatment that calls for careful monitoring) made me aware of some evacuation related problems that still need to addressed, but that's not why I mentioned Ribavirin. It seems that Ribavirin is a teratogen , which means that it might interfere with the normal development of a foetus and result in the loss of a pregnancy , a birth defect , or a pregnancy complication . In the case of Ribavirin, both female patients and the female partners of male patients are at risk. I was told twice, rather emphatically to use at least two forms of birth control for six months after ending treatment, because the risk is that great.

All this leads us to Plan B. The recent matter involving four Walgreens pharmacists refusing to dispense Plan B is the second such item to get national attention in only a month. Still, I've yet to hear anyone ask these Pharmacists for Life how they honor my Ribavirin (other teratogens include Lithium, anti-seizure medications and chemotherapy) prescription yet refuse my girlfriend's Plan B prescription. Better yet, I'd like to ask them how they could refuse my wife's (if I were married) prescription. After all, accidents do happen, even in good Christian marriages.

Now, I don't believe for one minute that I've stumbled upon some magic bullet that will end the debate. The contradiction between dispensing known teratogens and not dispensing Plan B is far from complete. But it would be nice to know that these pharmacists have at least thought through their position. A little research seems to indicate that most haven't.

However, raising this subject could do some good. For one thing, it could make it easier for pharmacists in conservative communities to resist pressure to not dispense Plan B. More importantly, the national drug store chains could use it to justify a policy requiring their pharmacists to dispense it.

Finally, if Pharmacists for Life own site doesn't make them look bad enough, Media Matters has this must read post.

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Old Favorites
  • Political Boxing (untitled)
  • Did Bush Take His Ball and Go Home
  • Teratogens and Plan B
  • Foghorn Leghorn Republicans
  • Quote of the Day
  • October's News(Dec.1)
  • untitled, Nov.19 (offshore revenue)
  • Remember Upton Sinclair
  • Oct. Liar of thr month
  • Jindal's True Colors
  • No bid contracts