SEATTLE, Wash. (Legal Newsline) — Washington state Attorney
General Bob Ferguson has announced the U.S. Supreme Court has declined to
review a case challenging state rules adopted to ensure patients receive timely
access to medication such as emergency contraceptives. Ferguson had filed a
brief with the high court urging the Supreme Court to deny the review.
“Patients should know that when they need medication, they
won’t be refused based on the personal views of a particular pharmacy owner,”
Ferguson said. “The appeals court ruling upheld today protects that principle.”
The original case began when the plaintiffs refused to fill
valid prescriptions for emergency contraceptives based on religious beliefs –
an act that led to many patients missing out on emergency contraceptives and
other time-sensitive medications. The plaintiffs challenged Washington Board of
Pharmacy rules that mandate pharmacies ensure patients have timely access to
medication while preserving the right of conscience of individual pharmacists.
The United States Court of Appeals ruled in the state’s
favor in July 2015 and the plaintiffs responded by filing a petition for review
with the U.S. Supreme Court. The Supreme Court’s decision to refuse the appeal
means that the case will come to an end.