Oregon Still Working On Details To Allow Pharmacists To Prescribe Birth Control

Pharmacists are scheduled to start prescribing birth control directly to women in Oregon next month. The details are still being worked out.

Instead of getting a prescription from a doctor, women will be able to go directly to a pharmacist for their birth control.

Advocates say it gives Oregonians the easiest access to the birth control in the nation.

Fiona Karbowicz with the Oregon State Board of Pharmacy said women will still have to answer a 20-question risk assessment.

“The purpose of this is to evaluate any potential contraindicating medical conditions,” she said.

For example, a 35-year-old smoker may not be able to get the prescription because the risk of a heart attack outweighs the benefits of birth control.

The state is still working out how pharmacists will be paid.  Previously, they haven’t had to bill for writing prescriptions.

The state hopes the new system will reduce the rate of unintended pregnancies. About half of pregnancies each year in the U.S. are unintended.

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