WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — There is a new push by Gov. Ned Lamont (D-Conn.) to allow pharmacists to prescribe oral contraceptives. Currently, your neighborhood pharmacy can fill a prescription for oral contraceptives, but a doctor still has to prescribe the pill.
“For many women in our state, there remain unnecessary obstacles that can put contraception out of reach, especially in rural and underserved communities,” explained Dr. Nathan Tinker, CEO of the Connecticut Pharmacists Association CEO at a press conference Monday morning in Waterbury.
That is why the Lamont administration proposes changing state laws to allow pharmacists to prescribe contraceptive pills.
“You don’t need to make and schedule an appointment,” said Commissioner Michelle Seagull of the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection. “You don’t have all the effort and the cost associated with a doctor’s appointment.”
Local pharmacies helped get millions of Americans vaccinated against COVID-19. It worked because they are convenient, and people go to them anyway.
“Pharmacists are the most accessible care provider,” Tinker said. “Ninety-five percent of Americans live within five miles of a pharmacy, and they visit their pharmacy 20-30 times each year.”
With the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, many Connecticut politicians are focusing on reproductive rights. Twenty other states already allow pharmacists to prescribe contraceptive medication, so there is already a process in place to get Connecticut pharmacists the proper training.
“Looking at how other states do it, we expect it to be an online course, maybe 2-3 hours,” Commissioner Seagull said. “This is not going to be a heavy lift.”
On Wednesday, Lamont will present this proposal and the rest of his legislative package for the current session in Hartford.