Bill would allow WV pharmacists to prescribe birth control

Lawmakers in the West Virginia House have passed a contraceptive access bill that calls for enabling pharmacists in the state to prescribe birth control medication OTC.

Lawmakers in the West Virginia House have passed a contraceptive access bill that calls for enabling pharmacists in the state to prescribe birth control medication OTC. Sponsors of House Bill 2583, known as the "Family Planning Access Act," say the measure would offer more convenience for women aged 18 years and older, who would be able to obtain birth control at pharmacies without a prescription. Heidi Romero, a pharmacist at Griffith & Feil Drug, notes: "If the state does it correctly they will take the time to lay out guidelines specifically to assist in those decisions so there's some actual evidence behind why a pharmacist would make a choice or if they would refer the patient to a physician at that point." If passed into law, new rules including pharmacist training would need to be implemented. Romero observes, "It does require a physician to create a standing order with the pharmacy so that the pharmacist would be acting under their supervision." She adds that birth control would be available for up to 2 years and after that a regular check-up would be necessary. If signed into law by Gov. Jim Justice, the state would become the 10th state with such legislation.