Yes, you read that right. Soon women in California will be able to get a prescription for birth control straight from their local pharmacist, which means that women who can't grab a doctor's appointment can get their contraceptives as conveniently as if they were picking up an over-the-counter painkiller.
The law, SB 493, is expected to go into effect later this year and will also give pharmacists the power to give annual vaccinations and revise prescription drug routines as well as prescribe smoking cessation medication. The law requires pharmacists to undergo special licensing and education to perform these functions.
There's a nation-wide shortage of primary care doctors and this law seems like it will help lift some of the work load, but critics have already come out claiming that women will be less likely to go to the doctor for preventative care or they might put off getting tested for cervical cancer andSTDs. On the other hand, studies have shown that women who had to wait for doctor's appointments to open up were more likely to skip their birth control.
Other cities are looking at implementing similar laws. Would you go to a pharmacist to prescribe your birth control?