Illinois allows pharmacists to prescribe, dispense birth control over the counter

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker on July 22 signed a measure into law allowing the state's residents to receive birth control over the counter without having to visit a physician.

The law, called HB 0135, includes mandates for state-regulated insurance plans to cover birth control dispensed by a pharmacist. 

HB 0135 will go into effect Jan. 1, 2022, and its provisions regarding insurance coverage will go into effect Jan. 1, 2023.

"Pharmacists are the most accessible healthcare providers that receive the most extensive training in proper use of medications; it makes sense to fully utilize pharmacists to expand access to ensure women are empowered in having access to effective, preventative options for contraception," Garth Reynolds, the executive director of the Illinois Pharmacists Association, said in a news release.

Currently, 16 states and Washington, D.C., allow pharmacists to prescribe and dispense birth control over the counter.

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