Oregon – As part of new laws that are taking place in 2016 in Oregon, pharmacists are now permitted to prescribe birth control pills to women that qualify after filling out a health questionnaire. Previously, the approval of a doctor was needed in order to buy the pills. Taking pills is the contraceptive method that is most used among Americans.
It was announced that women who are older than 18 years will need to fill out a questionnaire that was designed to be analyzed by pharmacists who will decide whether they qualify or not to receive a prescription. An interesting fact is that pharmacists can refuse to make prescriptions if they have religious reasons, however, they will need to refer women to another place or to another employee.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, the typical American woman wants two children. To achieve this goal, they must use contraceptives for roughly three decades. Among American women who use contraceptives, the largest percentage uses the pill to prevent pregnancy; however, more than half also identify with non-contraceptive health benefits, such as treatment for excessive menstrual bleeding, menstrual pain and acne, as reasons for use, wrote the Organization in its website.
Last year it was announced in a report made by the organization March of Dimes, that the Oregon State has the lowest preterm birth rate in the nation, being Portland the city with the lowest rate when comparing it with the 100 U.S. cities with the greatest number of births. Oregon’s preterm birth rate is 7.7 percent, and Portland’s is 7.2 percent.
This new law that was first approved in Oregon will be probably applied later in other states such as California, where a similar proposal was already made before. It is important to remark that in order to prescribe birth control pills to women, pharmacists must approve an obligatory training session.
“Just having birth control accessible through a pharmacist doesn’t mean preventative health care isn’t important. That’s not what this law is saying. It is really allowing increased access to women for something that’s incredibly safe and a really big need for women,” said Dr. Alison Edelman of Oregon Health and Science University to KOIN.
Women who are under 18 will still need a doctor’s prescription, but it is expected that in a few years they would be able to ask a pharmacist for the pills without a doctor’s approval. It is known that insurance companies should cover the supply of a complete year of birth control pills, so women will be allowed to buy them in just one time.
The Centers for Disease and Control Prevision (CDC) stated that cervical cancer, which is a gynecologic cancer, is highly preventable if women are screened by doctors every three years. So it is still recommended that women should get preventive gynecological health care.