Bill headed to the Tenn. House would let pharmacists prescribe birth control

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KNOXVILLE (WATE) – A new option for women on birth control was just approved by the Tennessee Senate.

It would mean you would not have visit an OBGYN to get a birth control prescription. Instead, one would go to the pharmacist, set up a consultation, and have them write a prescription.

“Gosh, it would mean more time. It would mean more money in my pocket,” said Andrea Flanders. Flanders has been on birth control for more than 20 years.

“It would be huge for convenience with insurance not being as good as it used to be. Women have less time than ever. So it would be a great help,” she explained.

Young mom Kylea Anderson says she’s a little more apprehensive about the idea.“I think it would be convenient to go to the pharmacy. But I think there could be reactions to medications. So it would be important for doctors to decide which one, because there’s so many different types of birth control. To know which ones would not be the best for your body,” Anderson said.

Pharmacist Brandon Lock says there are advantages, and disadvantages. Lock says it would greatly help an established patient like Andrea, for example.

“For a woman who is a long term birth control user, has a stable dose, and does otherwise get check-ups, it’s a matter of convenience,” Lock explained. However, he says it could harm someone newer to birth control.

“In many cases, even changes between brands or small doses can cause severe differences for women. Sometimes they can have breast tenderness. Sometimes bleeding,” he said.

Also, the annual visit to the OBGYN forces some women to get screened for STD’s and cancers.

The bill will be discussed in the house March 14. If it goes through, pharmacists would be required to get some additional training and certification to do the consultations.Copyright 2016 WATE. All rights reserved.

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