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Question Birth Control Available Without a Perscription - January 1st 2016, 09:08 PM

So California has a new law that allows anyone (no age restriction) to get birth control pills, patch and ring at the pharmacist without a prescription. The law says it aims to reduce unwanted teen pregnancy. However, this does have some downsides. Teens will be less likely to see their doctors about routine screenings and STD testing. And without a prescription from you doctor, insurance companies will not cover the cost if you go straight through the pharmacist. This means that the cost of birth control will be exponentially more expensive when purchased at the pharmacy.

Oregon also has implemented this law, but requires minors to have a prescription for the birth control from their doctor. Everyone older than 18 may purchase the BC without a prescription.

So what do you think? Is this a step in the right direction, or potentially harmful to young women?

http://www.desertsun.com/story/news/...cies/77383540/




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Re: Birth Control Available Without a Perscription - January 1st 2016, 09:51 PM

I'm for it, but I definitely see where the other side is coming from. But here's my opinion. First, I've never been a fan of the required appointments to for prescriptions, particularly for renewing prescriptions. Unless there is a risk factor, such as cervical cancer, a previously diagnosed STI, etc, there's evidence that an annual pelvic exams to be kinda pointless for the general population [Source]. But to be honest, I think if we measure the frequency in people seeing gynecologists after these laws, I don't think there will be a drastic change if any. I think there are ways that health messaging and health care reform can still encourage people going to the doctor without directly tying the ability to get a drug to the appointments. This will simply make it that people who may not have access to birth control other ways (maybe temporarily uninsured and may not have a low-cost clinic nearby that subsidizes birth control costs, between insurances, live in a household tied to parents' insurance who hold negative views of BC, etc) can access the care they need. The people who will get it over the counter were likely folks who weren't getting their annual exams anyway.

I worry more about health literacy in regards to people using the methods correctly; doctors and health educators would usually be the ones that would talk to people about how to use these methods after prescribed and we no longer have that chain of communication. I hope that the manufacturers do a good job in labeling boxes and providing accessible health communication in that way, and that these states invest more in sex education.

Well, I always hope that. Give me jobs. I'm likely moving to California post-graduation, so this will affect how I practice in sex ed. So that's exciting!


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Re: Birth Control Available Without a Perscription - January 1st 2016, 09:56 PM

My first thought is drug interactions or allergic reactions, especially with teenagers who may not be as familiar with what other things they take or what they might be allergic to. Having never used birth control I don't know if it interacts with certain things (other than antibiotics), There's a reason you need to go through your doctor for this stuff and a reason they want to know everything you take. I understand the idea behind this, but I don't know. Doctors also don't like to give it to women who smoke because of the risks, does this mean that women who can't get it from their doctor because they smoke will be able to just start taking it? I'm imagining someone having a serious problem and wondering who's going to get blamed for it.


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Re: Birth Control Available Without a Perscription - January 1st 2016, 10:00 PM

I think you should have to get a perscription from a doctor once and when you have it, it doesn't need to be renewed. That way you still see the doctor, are explained how it works and they can have an exam. But since you don't need another pelvic exam for three years, you don't need to go back just for birth control.




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Re: Birth Control Available Without a Perscription - January 2nd 2016, 02:49 AM

Well, as long as it isn't allowing walk-in abortions, I'd say it fits into the ideal society I will create when I'm King of America.
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Re: Birth Control Available Without a Perscription - January 3rd 2016, 04:12 AM

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Originally Posted by Kate* View Post
My first thought is drug interactions or allergic reactions, especially with teenagers who may not be as familiar with what other things they take or what they might be allergic to. Having never used birth control I don't know if it interacts with certain things (other than antibiotics), There's a reason you need to go through your doctor for this stuff and a reason they want to know everything you take. I understand the idea behind this, but I don't know. Doctors also don't like to give it to women who smoke because of the risks, does this mean that women who can't get it from their doctor because they smoke will be able to just start taking it? I'm imagining someone having a serious problem and wondering who's going to get blamed for it.
If you go to a pharmacist that you go for your regular prescriptions they'll know if it interacts with medication. I know that my pharmacist saw that my birth control was less effective with a medication I was taking and she called my doctor about it.

I'm assuming they'll have screenings to ask people what medications they are on and things like that. The only way the pharmacist wouldn't catch it is if the person lied about what they were taking. If the person doesn't lie they'll probably input the medication list in the system and see if anything pops up.

I'm honestly on the fence about this. I see the pros and I see the cons and I don't know which ones I feel more strongly about.


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Re: Birth Control Available Without a Perscription - January 3rd 2016, 11:28 AM

I would double check on the birth control and insurance. I am going to bet that the pharmacies will find a way to get insurance to cover it like they do with a lot of vaccinations. It may not be right away and not with all plans, but they will do their hardest to get it covered so more people will seek it through the pharmacists.


The pharmacists probably will not be happy. My friend is a pharmacist and she hates giving vaccinations. I don't know why since most vaccines are easily done in the arm. Anyway, she will probably flip if this comes to our state.


Pharmacists are also supposed to be able to educate patients about the risks of medications too.


There are some risks with all medications. I think it is potentially a good measure and is beneficial for people. Doctors are hard to get into. I tried finding a new doctor and it was near impossible for me to find one. It was frustrating.
   
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Re: Birth Control Available Without a Perscription - January 12th 2016, 06:20 PM

Update: In Oregon, these methods still require prescription, but now the pharmacist can provide it. Source. This seems like a wonderful measure to provide people education but ridding the barriers of doctor's offices and waits! *Public health nerding continues*


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Re: Birth Control Available Without a Perscription - January 13th 2016, 12:23 AM

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Originally Posted by Coffee. View Post
Update: In Oregon, these methods still require prescription, but now the pharmacist can provide it. Source. This seems like a wonderful measure to provide people education but ridding the barriers of doctor's offices and waits! *Public health nerding continues*
Isn't that how it works in California? I remember reading an article about this and it indicated that prescriptions were still necessary but it was the pharmacist who would give them out. I read that because of this insurances would still cover it. I don't know how accurate the article was and I only read through it briefly.

If the pharmacist is providing the prescription it indicates to me that they will give a decent amount of information about how to use birth control. From personal experience my doctors didn't even give me that much information. I literally had to ask them questions and I am still going to have to ask more questions about different birth control methods because I am seriously considering changing the method I use.


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Re: Birth Control Available Without a Perscription - January 24th 2016, 05:46 AM

That's kind of weird.


Is it like a standing order? Like with the vaccinations in my state, the pharmacist has a standing order that they can vaccinations in case of X. There are some exemptions from where they would not be able to provide immunizations such as age is one of them. The standing order is basically a physician says you can do X in case of Y except in case of Z.

So yes, the pharmacist is giving the medication but they aren't truly prescribing it. In my work, we have a case of standing orders like I can order this blood work and tests in case of X. Like chest-xray, ekg, blood work if someone has chest pain.
   
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Re: Birth Control Available Without a Perscription - January 24th 2016, 09:22 PM

You can pretty much get birth control in the UK with no pre-scription have been able to for years if you go to the sexual health clinic. Drs also prescribe it to help with heavy periods etc.



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Re: Birth Control Available Without a Perscription - January 25th 2016, 12:22 PM

I think so long as pharmacists are informed and inform people of risks etc (like my pharmacist already does when I bring in a prescription from my doctor) this will reduce a lot of the barriers people face when trying to get birth control. More accessible birth control is incredibly important.


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