BECKLEY, W.Va. (WVVA) In West Virginia, women may be able to pick up birth control at their local pharmacy without seeing a physician by the year’s end.
A bill that passed in the state legislature offering West Virginians pills, rings, and patches took effect in June. But according to Krista Capehart with the West Virginia Board of Pharmacy, it’s not available just yet.She said physicians, pharmacists, and health care experts are working on a protocol to ensure patient safety.
“It’s not as simple as going into the pharmacy and buying a pack of gum. It will be a screening process to make sure the birth control provided is appropriate for you and that it’s a safe selection process.”
While the protocol is still being developed, Capehart said the law requires that the birth control only be available to women over the age of 18.
And not all pharmacies will be required to participate. Khaja Mohammad, a pharmacist at the Beckley Pharmacy on Stanaford Road, is one of many pharmacies that plan to utilize the new law.
“Women can still go for regular checkups every year or half year at the OB-GYN and get all the tests done.”
The screening process will be similar to that of vaccines, explained Capehart, ruling out issues such as high blood pressure and other factors that could put their health at risk.
“It’s very important that all health care providers know what you’re taking and have a complete medical record.”
Capehart expects the offering to be available to the general public in around six months.