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Michigan pharmacists now able to prescribe birth control

A new interpretation of Michigan's Public Health Code now allows licensed physicians to delegate the authority to prescribe hormonal contraceptives to pharmacists.

MICHIGAN, USA — Getting a prescription for hormonal birth control could soon be as easy as visiting your neighborhood pharmacy.

A new interpretation of Michigan's Public Health code by the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) is extending the option of delegating limited prescriptive authority of hormonal contraceptives to Michigan-licensed pharmacists.

This stems from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's May directive that asked state agencies to identify ways to protect access to reproductive care.

“As reproductive freedom is under attack across the nation, we are using every tool in our toolbox here in Michigan to protect women," Gov. Whitmer said in a release. "Access to birth control is critical to a woman’s ability to plan her family and chart her own destiny. We are taking action to guarantee that Michigan women have the right to easily make reproductive health care decisions that are best for them.”  

Licensed physicians can now delegate to pharmacists the ability to prescribe birth control. State officials say pharmacists' training makes them qualified to prescribe birth control in most circumstances since they know the contents, side effects and risks of different hormonal birth control options.

Pharmacists are not required to offer this service. Those interested must opt into the program.

Chief Medical Executive Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian said the program will make it easier for women to access birth control.

“Nearly 30% of U.S. women of childbearing age have reported difficulty obtaining or refilling birth control prescriptions," Bagdasarian said. "Expanded access to hormonal contraceptives provides flexibility for women to manage their reproductive health outside their regularly scheduled health care appointments.”  

LARA will review the prescription and dispensing practices during regular pharmacy inspections to ensure pharmacies are not violating Michigan's Public Health Code.

To read Gov. Whitmer's directive, click here.

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