Arizona nixes physician prescription requirement for birth control

Arizona passed a bill which allows pharmacists to dispense birth control with non-patient specific orders, the Observer Today reported March 30.

The legislation, which passed with a 109-37 vote in the state Assembly, also allows physicians and nurse practitioners to order a non-patient specific order to pharmacist for birth control. Pharmacists would be required to provide the patient with a self-screening risk assessment questionnaire and a fact sheet, which would both be developed by the state health and education commissioners.

The legislation makes Arizona one of 18 states which allow pharmacists to provide contraceptives, according to the report.

Some have raised concerns that removing the physician from the process could lead to worse patient outcomes.

"There's no requirement for discussion about sexually transmitted disease," Assemblyman Andrew Goodell said in the report. "There's no physical examination. There's no required discussion of the effectiveness — and it's well known the pill loses its effectiveness over time. There's no required discussion of other alternatives whether it's safe sex or other types of birth control."

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