PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Islanders may soon be able to get a prescription for birth control without visiting their doctor.
On Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed legislation that would authorize pharmacists to prescribe and dispense hormonal contraceptive patches and self-administered oral hormonal contraceptives.
“Taking time off work, finding transportation to a clinic and paying for a doctor’s visit is a lot of work to get birth control,” Representative Camilla Vella-Wilkinson, the bill’s sponsor, said.
Under the bill, pharmacists must complete a training program approved by the state board of pharmacy.
It would also limit prescriptions to patients who are at least 18 years old, unless the patient has evidence of a previous prescription from a primary care or women’s health care practitioner.
If approved, Rhode Island would join twelve other states that have existing laws allowing pharmacists to prescribe birth control.
The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.