Birth control pills and patches will not require a prescription in North Carolina as of Tuesday

RALEIGH, NC (WGHP) – North Carolinians will not need a prescription to receive birth control pills and patches, starting Tuesday.

The change is part of a new law signed on August 20 and scheduled to take effect on February 1. The law allows qualified pharmacists to prescribe and administer certain medications, including certain forms of birth control.

These pharmacists can now give their customers “self-administered oral or transdermal contraceptives” as long as the patient “completes an evaluation that meets the United States Medical Eligibility Criteria (US MEC) for Contraceptive Use.” The USMEC provides recommendations on the use of certain contraceptive methods for people with certain medical conditions.

This law specifically does not allow pharmacists to distribute emergency contraceptives such as the morning-after pill, but these drugs are already over-the-counter.

The law also allows these pharmacists to prescribe prenatal vitamins, nicotine replacement therapy, HIV prevention drugs and glucagon to treat severe hypoglycemia.

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