After Dobbs, pharmacists and patients panic over drug restrictions

While Roe’s end will allow some healthcare providers to refuse treatment based on their beliefs, it has scared off other doctors and pharmacists, even in states where abortion is protected. Kristin Tevonian, who lives in suburban Illinois, faced a mad rush trying to fill her methotrexate script at Walgreens. Tevonian suffers from a connective tissue disorder and contracted severe psoriatic arthritis after a Covid infection in January. “When I developed psoriatic arthritis, I couldn’t even get out of bed in the morning,” she said. “My body was hurting me so much. Psoriasis was all over my head, my ears, my elbows. It’s just that burning itchy feeling, [and] you just can’t stop the itching.

The methotrexate helped his psoriasis go away, reduced his joint pain and allowed him to get on with his life. She had never had a problem getting it filled out before the Dobbs decision. Earlier this month, she tried three times to pick it up at Walgreens. The first time, the pharmacy clerk told him apologetically that a pharmacist had to approve the medicine, but there were none available at the time. She asked her doctor to call Walgreens, but still couldn’t pick up her prescription when she returned because she was told the pharmacist was at lunch. The third time she went with her husband and the attendant had no problem giving her the medication. “Nobody wanted to give me the medicine and insisted that I speak with a pharmacist,” she said. “But the minute they see a man, they’re like, ‘Oh, hold on, take it. “”

Tevonian asked the clerk if she needed to speak to a pharmacist, but he didn’t seem to have a clue about a policy requiring methotrexate to be approved by a pharmacist. She plans to switch to an online pharmacy next month to avoid the hassle. But it should be noted that the new requirements for the distribution of potentially abortifacient drugs have also affected independent and mail-order pharmacies.

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