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    California pharmacists soon able to prescribe birth control

    Under a new law approved two years ago, some pharmacists in California will soon be able to prescribe birth control.

    Supporters of the law believe it will save women time and money by eliminating doctor visits. “The traditional method just doesn’t hold up very well. It requires women to take time off work or school in order to make an appointment that might not be easy to get,” Don Downing, a University of Washington School of Pharmacy professor, told the Orange County Register. “Many women don’t necessarily have a primary care provider. It will be great news for a lot of people who are sexually active, but who don’t know where to turn.”

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    The new law also allows California pharmacists to prescribe prescription-strength inhalers, gums and lozenges for nicotine addiction, medication for travel abroad, including vaccinations, and antibiotics.

    “Pharmacists are the experts on medications. This should be a really good thing for everybody,” said Joyia Emard, a spokeswoman with the California Board of Pharmacy (CBOP).

    The law stipulates that pharmacists who earn classification as “advanced practice pharmacists” will be able to initiate, adjust, or discontinue drugs after referral from a physician.


The law is scheduled to take effect in October, but CBOP is still creating protocols that spell out how pharmacists will prescribe birth control. Those protocols will have to be approved by several state agencies.

    Mark Lowery, Editor
    Mark Lowery an Editor for Drug Topics magazine.


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    • Anonymous
      Well you can bet you'll be kissing your inexpensive professional liability insurance rates good-bye if you go down this pathway. What do obstetricians have to pay for their liability coverage, over $100K/year?????? This is a huge departure from simple "morning-after" pill sales.
    • Anonymous
      So who's gonna do the PAP smear? Not me.
    • Anonymous
      Let alone the pap smear who is going to do the breast examination. This is beyond stupidity and any women who would consult a pharmacist for birth control is nuts. The lawyers must be lining up when this event starts.