Allowing Pharmacists to Prescribe and Dispense Birth Control
H.4644 would require the Board of Pharmacy to issue a written protocol which pharmacists would follow in order to prescribe and dispense birth control medication without a physician’s prescription. The medication could be in patch or pill form. In order for a patient to be eligible to receive a prescription for birth control from a pharmacist they would have to be either 18 years old, or provide evidence of a previous physician’s prescription for birth control.
Pharmacists would not be allowed to require a patient to schedule an appointment for the prescribing or dispensing of birth control. They would also be prohibited of prescribing or dispensing birth control to a patient who doesn’t have evidence of a clinical visit for women’s health within the three years immediately following the initial prescription and dispensation of birth control by a pharmacist.
There is no compelling reason women should not have access to birth control without a physician’s prescription. Birth control pills are as safe or safer than many other over the counter medications, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has endorsed access to birth control without a doctor’s prescription as a way to improve access and cut down on unintended pregnancies.
Women in California and Oregon already have the right to obtain this common and low risk medication without a doctor’s prescription. South Carolina women should have the same right.