A new law in California allows women to pick up birth control pills from pharmacies without a doctor’s prescription.
But more than a year after the law took effect, women say they’re still struggling to get the medicines, in part because they can’t find pharmacies offering them.
A study released Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. found that only 11% of pharmacies in the state are dispensing hormonal birth control to women without prescriptions. Pharmacists don’t have to make use of the law, and some are reluctant to because they’re concerned about liability, adequate staffing and a lack of reimbursement for the service, the study found.
Also at play is a supply-demand problem, experts say: Pharmacists don’t want to invest in providing the service if women don’t want it, but women aren’t aware it’s an option and aren’t asking for it because pharmacies aren’t offering it.
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