Birth control available without prescription at Utah pharmacies

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Women can now walk into a pharmacy here in Utah and buy birth control without a prescription from a doctor.

On Wednesday, Associated Food Stores announced its pharmacies are among the first to take part.

“Associated Food Stores’ pharmacies are committed to the health and well-being of our patients,” said Denise Kunkel, manager of clinical programs, Associated Food Stores. “We are among the first pharmacies in Utah to offer this service since the law was finalized and are excited to ensure women have convenient and affordable access to birth control.”

Now women can walk into one of the participating pharmacies and purchase birth control for a low cost consultative fee.

According to a press release sent out by Associated Foods, no appointment is necessary. Patients will need to fill out a health questionnaire, receive a blood pressure reading and then work with a pharmacist to pick out their birth control.

This is possible because of a bill that past last year. Senate Bill 184 allows Utah pharmacists to legally dispense a self-administered hormonal contraceptive to a patient who is 18 years of age or older.

Senator Todd Weiler (R) Woods Cross, sponsored SB 184. He hopes the bill will help reduce unwanted pregnancies and abortions.

“Out of all the bills I’ve worked on, this one will probably affect a lot of people immediately and hopefully do some good.”

Weiler says the bill did face opposition in the beginning.

“Most of the opposition was from the Utah Medical Association. Speaking on behalf of the doctors, I think they were concerned that maybe women would stop getting check-ups and there could be other issues with feminine hygiene and health. They wanted to make sure we didn’t put a program into place where someone could never see a doctor.”

After adding guidelines, some such as, pharmacists not being allowed to dispense birth control to patients who haven’t seen a doctor within 24 months of the initial prescription, and pharmacists being required to enroll in a training program to distribute birth control, SB 184 passed the house and senate unanimously.

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