Michigan allows pharmacists to prescribe birth control, joining 20 states

Licensed physicians in Michigan can now delegate birth control prescription powers to pharmacists after the state's licensing and regulatory department altered interpretation of its health laws. 

Current laws have already been adapted to allow pharmacists to prescribe contraceptives in 20 states and Washington, D.C., according to the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations' website

"As reproductive freedom is under attack across the nation, we are using every tool in our toolbox here in Michigan to protect women," Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a Sept. 19 statement. 

Pharmacists won't be required to prescribe birth control pills, patches and rings; they will be able to opt in to the program with the state's Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs template agreement. 

The role of pharmacists in a post-Roe world has been tricky, with retail pharmacies restricting access to some drugs that can end a pregnancy and a pharmacy worker headed to court in August for not filling a prescription for an emergency contraceptive. 

"Nearly 30 percent of U.S. women of childbearing age have reported difficulty obtaining or refilling birth control prescriptions," Natasha Bagdasarian, MD, Michigan's chief medical executive, said in a statement, referring to a 2016 study published in the Journal of Women's Health. "Expanded access to hormonal contraceptives provides flexibility for women to manage their reproductive health outside their regularly scheduled health care appointments."

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