California and Oregon Lead the Charge

Contraceptives Prescribed By Pharmacists

Two groundbreaking laws have passed in California and Oregon allowing Pharmacists to prescribe contraceptives for birth control without a doctor’s prescription. After a quick screening process which includes a questionnaire about their health and medical history. Insurance companies will cover it as usual. This is not only convenient for the client, it is a great opportunity for Independent Pharmacies in these two states to capitalize and increase foot traffic and build a new personal one on one relationship with a new demographic that may have just come in for a quick prescription fill in the past.

Although overall support for these changes have been great this far, it does not come without opposition including The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists which believes contraceptives should be available solely over the counter as it is in other countries with the downfall being the issue whether it will be covered under the Affordable Health Care Act which is requiring insurance companies to cover contraception. Will that remain if they are over the counter? Nobody knows.

Beverly Schaefer, co-owner of Katterman’s Sand Point Pharmacy in Seattle charges a $35 fee to prescribe contraceptives due to it being uncertain if Insurance companies will pay for the time that a Pharmacist spends with a patient. A Physician out of New York chimed in on a New York Times blog post regarding this topic which was encouraging as if anyone would have an issue with a change like this would be them as they lose the additional revenue:

“This move to allow Pharmacists to prescribe birth control pills seems a welcome development. But there should be some oversight by a Physician such as the women are prescribed by a Physician after a physical and some risks like proclivity to Deep Vein Thrombosis is eliminated. Also, any complaints or side-effects reported to the Pharmacist should immediately be conveyed to a Physician and the requirement that the woman will see her Physician. That would make this a fool-proof plan, cutting down costs as well.”

Although my personal favorite post was from C. Camille Lau out of Eagle River, Anchorage

“It seems reasonable to assume that making contraceptives easier to obtain should result in fewer unwanted pregnancies which should result in fewer abortions, medical risks and costs. Excuse me, but did something political just make sense? I’ve forgotten that could happen!”