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House Bill 71 (2001-2002)

Check the status of this bill in the Ohio General Assembly.

124th General Assembly
Regular Session

Representatives Faber, Brinkman, DeWine, Driehaus, Callender, Collier, Flowers, Grendell, Hagan, Husted, Jerse, Krupinski, Reidelbach, Schaffer, Seaver, Seitz, Setzer, Willamowski, Wolpert, Womer Benjamin.


To amend section 4729.16 and to enact section 4729.162 of the Revised Code to provide that a pharmacist may refuse to dispense a drug on the basis of ethical or religious principles.


Section 1. That section 4729.16 be amended and section 4729.162 of the Revised Code be enacted to read as follows:

Sec. 4729.16.
(A) The state board of pharmacy, after notice and hearing in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, may revoke, suspend, limit, place on probation, or refuse to grant or renew an identification card, or may impose a monetary penalty or forfeiture not to exceed in severity any fine designated under the Revised Code for a similar offense, or in the case of a violation of a section of the Revised Code that does not bear a penalty, a monetary penalty or forfeiture of not more than five hundred dollars, if the board finds a pharmacist or pharmacy intern:

(1) Guilty of a felony or gross immorality;

(2) Guilty of dishonesty or unprofessional conduct in the practice of pharmacy;

(3) Addicted to or abusing liquor or drugs or impaired physically or mentally to such a degree as to render the pharmacist or pharmacy intern unfit to practice pharmacy;

(4) Has been convicted of a misdemeanor related to, or committed in, the practice of pharmacy;

(5) Guilty of willfully violating, conspiring to violate, attempting to violate, or aiding and abetting the violation of any of the provisions of this chapter, sections 3715.52 to 3715.72 of the Revised Code, Chapter 2925. or 3719. of the Revised Code, or any rule adopted by the board under those provisions;

(6) Guilty of permitting anyone other than a pharmacist or pharmacy intern to practice pharmacy;

(7) Guilty of knowingly lending the pharmacist's or pharmacy intern's name to an illegal practitioner of pharmacy or having professional connection with an illegal practitioner of pharmacy;

(8) Guilty of dividing or agreeing to divide remuneration made in the practice of pharmacy with any other individual, including, but not limited to, any licensed health professional authorized to prescribe drugs or any owner, manager, or employee of a health care facility, residential care facility, or nursing home;

(9) Has Except as provided in division (C)(2) of this section, has violated the terms of a consult agreement entered into pursuant to section 4729.39 of the Revised Code;

(10) Has committed fraud, misrepresentation, or deception in applying for or securing a license or identification card issued by the board under this chapter or under Chapter 3715. or 3719. of the Revised Code.

(B) Any individual whose identification card is revoked, suspended, or refused, shall return the identification card and license to the offices of the state board of pharmacy within ten days after receipt of notice of such action.

(C) The board may not take action under division (A) of this section against a pharmacist for doing either of the following in accordance with section 4729.162 of the Revised Code:

(1) Refusing to dispense a drug;

(2) Terminating a consult agreement.

(D) As used in this section:

"Unprofessional conduct in the practice of pharmacy" includes any of the following:

(1) Advertising or displaying signs that promote dangerous drugs to the public in a manner that is false or misleading;

(2) Except as provided in section 4729.281 of the Revised Code, the sale of any drug for which a prescription is required, without having received a prescription for the drug;

(3) Knowingly dispensing medication pursuant to false or forged prescriptions;

(4) Knowingly failing to maintain complete and accurate records of all dangerous drugs received or dispensed in compliance with federal laws and regulations and state laws and rules;

(5) Obtaining any remuneration by fraud, misrepresentation, or deception.

(D)(E) The board may suspend a license or identification card under division (B) of section 3719.121 of the Revised Code by utilizing a telephone conference call to review the allegations and take a vote.

(E)(F) If, pursuant to an adjudication under Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, the board has reasonable cause to believe that a pharmacist or pharmacy intern is physically or mentally impaired, the board may require the pharmacist or pharmacy intern to submit to a physical or mental examination, or both.

Sec. 4729.162.
A pharmacist may refuse to dispense a drug if doing so would violate the pharmacist's ethical or religious principles. A pharmacist who has entered into a consult agreement under section 4729.39 of the Revised Code shall terminate the agreement in accordance with that section if the pharmacist refuses to dispense a drug prescribed for the individual who consented to treatment under the agreement.

Unless self-employed, a pharmacist who intends to refuse to dispense a drug for ethical or religious reasons shall provide to the pharmacist's employer a written statement of the basis for the refusal before receiving a request to fill a prescription for the drug. If such a written statement has been provided, the pharmacist's employer shall not discharge, discipline, discriminate against, or retaliate against or deny employment or promotion to the pharmacist solely on the basis of refusal to dispense the drug.

A pharmacist who refuses, in accordance with this section, to dispense a drug and the pharmacist's employer are not liable in damages for harm resulting from the refusal.

A pharmacist or employer may not be denied public funds on the basis of a pharmacist's refusal, in accordance with this section, to dispense a drug.

Section 2. That existing section 4729.16 of the Revised Code is hereby repealed.



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