By  for Aljazeera America. Over the summer, a federal appeals court in Washington state ruled that pharmacies do not have a right to refuse to fill a patient’s prescription on moral grounds. The plaintiffs in the case, Stormans v. Wiesman, were three pharmacists who denied emergency contraceptives to dozens of female customers, saying that doing otherwise would violate their Christian principles.

While the ruling served as an important test case for the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the likelihood of a religious fanatic trying to come between you and your medication is minuscule compared with the threat posed by well-meaning public officials who think the best way to prevent people from getting addicted to prescription drugs is to make them harder to get for everyone.

I wrote about the ancillary impact the war on drugs is having on patients back in 2013. We now have a clearer picture of the scope of that collateral damage, and it’s worse than even I expected.

Over the past four years, reports of pharmacists refusing to honor valid prescriptions for controlled substances have grown considerably as blame for America’s opioid addiction crisis has fallen increasingly on health care providers.

Read more… 

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