January 17, 2020
Senator Joanne Comerford
Chair, Senate Committee on Public Health
State House, Room 413-C
Representative John J. Mahoney
Chair, House Committee on Public Health
State House, Room 130
Dear Chairs Comerford and Mahoney and Honorable Committee Members,
We write today to respectfully request favorable action on S.1309 – “An Act relative to hormonal contraceptives.”
In Massachusetts, nearly one-third of women of reproductive age use short-acting hormonal contraception such as transdermal patches, birth control injections or birth control pills. The latter are the most popular form of female contraception in the Commonwealth.
This bill would expand pharmacists’ scope of practice and increase access to birth control for women—especially those who don’t have a regular physician, can’t afford an appointment or live in areas where doctors are in short supply.
More specifically, the legislation would authorize pharmacists to prescribe hormonal contraceptives regardless of whether an individual has evidence of a previous prescription from a primary care practitioner or women’s healthcare practitioner for a hormonal contraceptive patch or self-administered oral hormonal contraceptive. This practice would increase access to extremely safe methods of family planning. For those under the age of 18, evidence of prior prescriptions would be required.
This bill would also establish and require pharmacists to undergo a training program, to be approved by the State Board of Pharmacy, relative to prescribing hormonal contraceptive patches and self-administered oral hormonal contraceptives.
To date, 11 states and the District of Columbia have passed similar legislation.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
R Street Institute
Courtney M. Joslin
Resident Fellow, Commercial Freedom
R Street Institute