STATE OF CONNECTICUT
THE STATE COMPTROLLER
|STATE, WAL-MART REACH SETTLEMENT ON "PLAN B"
Pharmacies Will Stock Contraceptive In All Connecticut Stores
|Contact: Steve Jensen|
State Comptroller Nancy Wyman and Attorney General Richard Blumenthal today announced that Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has agreed to stock the "Plan B" emergency contraceptive in all of its Connecticut stores.
Wal-Mart also has created a comprehensive contingency plan to ensure that the treatment is properly dispensed in cases where a store pharmacist objects to doing so.
The agreement comes four months after Blumenthal ruled that Wyman - who administers the health insurance plan for 188,000 Connecticut state employees, retirees and their dependents - could exclude Wal-Mart from the state's insurance network if it refused to dispense the treatment.
"I am gratified that Wal-Mart has agreed to do the right thing for all women in Connecticut and their families," Wyman said. "Whether it is Plan B or any other prescription, I believe medical decisions should be made between a patient and a physician, not a pharmacy."
Blumenthal said, "Wal-Mart has recognized its responsibility to respect the state's pharmacy plan terms in full, not selectively. The state's health insurance plans clearly required this result, and I will take appropriate action to assure compliance, working with the comptroller.
"The law and the state plan should - and do - respect medical decisions made by the patient and her physician, without interference. The state prescription plan has the force of law, and we will enforce it. If Wal-Mart - or any pharmacy - fails to provide a medically necessary covered prescription, the right exists to remove them from the network."
Wyman sought a ruling from Blumenthal after Wal-Mart said it would not dispense the drug. The agreement spells out a detailed contingency plan that ensures customers will not be refused treatment - even in the case of a conscientious objection by an individual pharmacist.
In cases where a pharmacist declines to dispense the prescription, the pharmacist will attempt to locate another Wal-Mart pharmacist to do so, or make arrangements for the customer's prescription to be filled at another nearby Wal-Mart or other pharmacy.
Each Wal-Mart pharmacy will maintain a list of alternative area pharmacies willing to dispense the treatment.
The State Comptroller appreciates input on this and other issues from residents of the state. Please feel free to contact her office by phone - (860) 702-3300; mail - OSC, 55 Elm Street, Hartford, CT 06106; or, via E-mail - firstname.lastname@example.org
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For Immediate Release
July 12, 2006
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