New North Carolina law allows women to get birth control without a prescription

(QUEEN CITY NEWS) – A North Carolina law that allows women to access birth control pills and patches without a doctor’s prescription went into effect Tuesday.

House Bill 96 aims to make certain drugs, such as contraceptives, HIV prevention and prenatal vitamins, more accessible.

“I feel like with birth control, it’s definitely our decision. It’s our body,” said Charlotte resident Jeanine Hubbard.

Harsh Patel owns and operates Queen Pharmacy on the 7and Street. Having attended pharmacy school, he says he and other pharmacists are trained to do more than their traditional dispensary roles.

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“It can even take months to just get a doctor’s appointment. It makes things much easier,” he said. “I went to pharmacy school in California, and we practiced this law there long before that. I have done this before and as a pharmacist I am quite confident in my ability to do this.

However, just because the law is already in force does not mean that it is already in practice. Pharmacists are still waiting for standing orders from the state that will give them protocols for administering the drugs. They also received no indication as to whether the prices of these drugs will change without a prescription.

“I know many states have made birth checks completely free whether or not they have insurance. So that’s also something that will be interesting to see,” Patel said.

While most people seem to agree on the importance of the new law, some medical professionals are concerned that it will discourage some women from seeing their health care provider for regular medical appointments.

North Carolina joins more than a dozen other states with similar birth control laws.

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