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Walgreens and CVS Face Sex Discrimination Lawsuits
Refusing to Fill Prescriptions for Life-Saving Drugs Solely Because of Sex
As one example, a Walgreens pharmacy refused to fill a prescription for a life-saving arthritis medication for a 14-year-old girl because, although the prescription was for her previously-diagnosed rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis, it might conceivably be used to treat ectopic pregnancies.
Walgreens refused to provide the young girl with this vital drug even though it had no reason to suspect that she might be pregnant, and even though ectopic pregnancies are very rare.
Moreover, the fact that she had been taking exactly the same drug for many years should have been more than enough to convince any reasonable pharmacist that she was not suddenly seeking it to deal with this very rare condition, says Banzhaf.
Because many states have adopted or put into effect strict laws against anyone aiding a female to obtain an abortion, patients in such states have reported that pharmacies have been refusing to file prescriptions for certain drugs which might conceivably be used to help cause an abortion.
What makes this new discrimination illegal - a clear violation of laws in every state which prohibit discrimination based upon sex - is that Walgreens, CVS, and other pharmacies in the affected states would not hesitate to fill prescriptions for these and many other drugs when they are prescribed for males.
Refusing to fill prescriptions for drugs based solely on the sex of the patient clearly constitutes illegal sex discrimination, says the law professor.
This is especially true if the pharmacy makes no effort to determine if the patient is even pregnant, and other factors - such as a clear record of using the same drug for many years - are not even considered.
Both companies admitted that they have policies in place to permit - if not actually encourage - denial of vital medications to female patients.
CVS admits that requires its pharmacists to confirm that a medication will not be used to terminate a pregnancy before filling a prescription;