Starting Jan. 1, pharmacists in Oregon will be able to prescribe birth control.
Which means women won’t have to see their doctors first.
Instead, women will fill out a health questionnaire at a pharmacy and get their blood pressure checked, then if there are no problems, they’ll get a prescription.
Oregon State University instructor Lorinda Anderson helped design the training course for the change.
She was asked on OPB’s Think Out Loud whether a five-hour online program was sufficient for pharmacists.
“I haven’t heard that anybody’s worried about it yet. I think that it’s a very narrow area that they’re allowed to prescribe within. And so I think because of that, people are feeling a little bit safer with it.”
It’ll be the first time pharmacists have been able to write any prescriptions in Oregon.
Women under 18 won’t be able to get birth control at the pharmacy, unless they’ve had a previous prescription. But that restriction is scheduled to sunset in a few years.
Pharmacists who have a religious objection don’t have to prescribe. But they have to refer a patient somewhere else.