Tuesday, April 19, 2016

California Becomes Third State to Allow Pharmacists to Dispense Birth Control

Inquisitor (April 10, 2106): California Birth Control Law Allows Pharmacists to Dispense Contraception Practically Over-the-Counter, by John Houck:

Earlier this month a California law went into effect that allows pharmacists to distribute self-administered hormonal contraceptives.  The law was passed in 2013, but did not go into effect until April 8, 2016 because of regulatory hurdles.

Although women are not required to get a doctor's prescription, access isn't quite "over-the-counter."

To get birth control, a woman will need to answer some questions about her health as well as consult with a pharmacist to determine the most appropriate contraceptive method. A woman’s blood pressure will have to be measured if the particular method poses a high blood pressure risk.
After the consultation, a woman can request a specific type or ask the pharmacist for a recommendation. Once the method is chosen, instructions for use and information regarding side effects will be explained. Some methods, like implants or intrauterine devices, are only available from a doctor.

Birth control administered in this manner will be covered by insurance plans that include birth control.  Oregon and Washington already have similar legislation in place, and Hawaii, New Mexico and Alaska are considering similar measures.


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