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Oregon Pharmacists Can Now Prescribe Birth Control Pills

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Oregon welcomed 2016 with a number of new laws going into effect January 1st, including a law that allows pharmacists to write prescriptions for birth control.

Residents of Oregon can now obtain a prescription for two types of hormonal birth control, pills and the patch, from their pharmacist, without first visiting a doctor. The law specifies that this applies only to those over 18, but that those under 18 may do so if they already have evidence of a previous prescription.

A pharmacist may prescribe […] contraceptives to a person who is: (a) At least 18 years of age, regardless of whether the person has evidence of a previous prescription […]; or (b) Under 18 years of age, only if the person has evidence of a previous prescription from a primary care practitioner or women’s health care practitioner for a hormonal contraceptive patch or self-administered oral hormonal contraceptives.

Pharmacists who will be giving these prescriptions must attend a mandatory training session before being allowed to dispense the pills, and women wishing to obtain the pills will be required to fill out a questionnaire before the new prescription is given. Pharmacists may still refuse to provide prescriptions for religious reasons, but must point a customer in the direction of another pharmacist.

The law, championed by a Representative who is also a doctor, passed the Oregon House with a vote of 50 to 10, and is not the only law having to do with contraception to go into effect starting January 1st. A law passed in June requires insurers to cover birth control refills for 12 months.

More Oregon laws going into effect in the new year include: a law changing the language on marriage certificates to be more inclusive of same sex couples, a law to automate voter registration, and a law allowing paid sick leave days for employees.

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