Houston, TX asked in Health Care Law for Texas

Q: Could my doctor refuse to give prescriptions to a pharmacy of my choice?

My doctor gives his prescriptions to a pharmacy of his own choice. I want him to use a phamacy that I selected that charges less. Do I have that right to ask my doctor to use the pharmacy of my choice?

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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A: In Texas, physicians generally have discretion when it comes to which pharmacy they send prescriptions to for their patients. However, there are some limitations:

- Under Texas law, patients have a right to choose their preferred pharmacy under the Pharmacy of Choice provisions. This allows you to request your prescription be filled wherever you wish.

- Doctors can only refuse to use your chosen pharmacy for valid clinical or safety reasons that must be documented in your medical chart. Convenience or financial incentives for the doctor are prohibited bases to deny your pharmacy choice.

- If the doctor's office has an established in-house pharmacy, they are required to inform you that you have a right to choose an outside pharmacy instead. This allows you to select a less expensive alternative.

- If your doctor denies your pharmacy choice without a legitimate documented clinical rationale, they would likely be violating Texas Pharmacy of Choice law.

- You can file a complaint with the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners and/or Medical Board against a doctor improperly restricting your pharmacy selection.

In summary, doctors cannot force you to use a certain pharmacy without cause in Texas. Politely insist on your legal right to choose and pursue official complaints if needed to enforce your pharmacy preferences.

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