Pharmacists to begin prescribing birth control in Oregon

Medford, Ore. — Among the new laws going into effect in the new year are a pair that aim to make access to birth control easier for Oregonians. As of Friday, insurers will be required to cover a full year of birth control, and pharmacists will be able to prescribe certain contraceptives without a doctor’s visit.

“We’ll be ready pretty quickly in the next handful of days,” pharmacist and owner of West Main Pharmacy.

At West Main Pharmacy in Medford, the staff is gearing up to begin providing birth control to Oregonians.

“We do have a separate consultation area for these gals seeking birth control prescriptions,” Clark says, “that’ll make it private and out of the way that’s separate from the rest of the pharmacy,

Governor Kate Brown signed HB 2879 into law this summer, allowing pharmacies to prescribe certain contraceptives to patients without a doctors visit.

“They’ll be given a form they fill out much like a flu shot.”

“Once that form is filled out, it will be given to the pharmacist who will go over it with the patient and the decision to prescribe or not prescribe will be made.”

The law allows anyone 18 or older to receive a prescription for birth control patches or pills. Other contraceptives like rings or shots will still have to be prescribed by a physician. As for anyone under the age of 18, they’ll have to have a prescription from a provider before getting it filled at a pharmacy. Pharmacist Dennis Clark says the new law will allow pharmacists like him to use their expertise of the medications to prescribe the best ones to patients.

“There’s hundreds of different types and combinations,” Clark says, “and we’ve long known which ones are better than others given the particular patient and what their medical history is.”

If pharmacists want to be able to prescribe birth control they must complete a training program, but it’s up to each individual pharmacist to decide if they want to take it. You can call your local pharmacy to see if they will be participating.



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