More States Are Allowing Pharmacists to Prescribe Birth Control

Tuesday, December 6, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Pharmacists are now open to practice in 20 US states and Washington, D.C. Prescribing hormonal contraceptives can make contraception more accessible for women, says a new report.
Ten more states have legislation underway, according to the study, which was presented at the American Society of Health System Pharmacists conference in Las Vegas on Monday.
Easy access to contraception has been a hot topic since the US Supreme Court overturned her landmark Roe v. Wade abortion ruling.

''Pharmacists are an underutilized and essential resource for so many Americans, especially for people who live far from other health care providers or have limited access for other reasons,'' Tom Kraus, ASHP vice president of government relations, said in a society news release.

A national analysis showed this is a growing trend.
''Pharmacists have taken on more responsibility in providing health care the past few years due to the COVID-19 pandemic,'' said the lead author of the analysis, Soumya Jairam, a Pharm D candidate at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J.
''The scope of our practice is expanding, and it's important to be aware of what the rules look like in other states,'' Jairam said in the release.

States and districts that allow pharmacists to prescribe birth control are Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia, according to the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations.
California was the first, in 2013. South Carolina came last in May.
New York is one of her 30 other states that do not allow pharmacists to prescribe hormonal contraceptives.
Another survey of her 500 New York women to be presented at the conference found that about 3 in 4 of her women would like to get birth control from a pharmacist. Many said they live closer to a pharmacy than a doctor.
The majority of women who participated in the study said they believed pharmacists had the knowledge and skills to prescribe contraception. The main barriers to contraception were long waiting times and difficulty in getting appointments at clinics and distance to doctors.
''Access to contraception may become even more important given the Supreme Court ruling Roe v. Wade,'' said Jennifer Fiscus, lead author of the women's poll in Johnson City. He is a D candidate in Pharmacy at Binghamton University School of Pharmacy.

''With this decision closing family planning clinics in many areas, contraceptive prescribing is a great opportunity for pharmacists to step in and play a role in health care,'' Fiscus added in a press release. ''This is especially true in emergencies when people run out of refills over the weekend or can't reach their provider for weeks or months.''

Findings presented at medical conferences are considered preliminary until publication in a peer-reviewed journal.
For more information
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more information on birth control. sauce:
American Association of Health System Pharmacists, Press Release, December 5, 2022

23 Dec 2022