Pharmacists: Women aren’t taking advantage of prescription-free contraceptives

Pharmacists: Women aren’t taking advantage of prescription-free contraceptives
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NORTH CAROLINA (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — In 2021, The North Carolina General Assembly passed a law authorizing pharmacists to sell contraceptives without a prescription from a doctor. Still, most would say women aren’t taking advantage of the benefit.

“To my knowledge, I’ve had no one actually come in and ask for it,” said Greg Deese, pharmacist and owner of Oakhurst Pharmacy. “I think it has been sort of a secret that the pharmacist can do this now and have been able to do it for a while. This press release obviously will help that.”

In celebration of Women’s Health Week, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services highlighted chain drug stores like Ingles Markets Pharmacies and Walgreens that will join the trend.

Expanding Access: More NC pharmacies to provide contraceptives without a prescription

Ingles will start contraceptive services at pharmacies in North Carolina this month. Walgreens will provide those services by the end of June.

“I actually went through some training back about a year and a half ago that each pharmacist had to do if they elect to do this,” Deese said.

Independent stores like Oakhurst Pharmacy, have been able to sell prescription-free contraceptives for years now.

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“As a general rule, when a new process is passed, the small independent like mine is able to move quickly towards, you know, be able to fulfill that need for the community,” Deese said. “The bigger chains have hundreds of stores, a lot of people to get trained, and they’re also across different state lines,” he continued, “and every state probably has a different statute around this process. It does sound like some of the larger chains now are able to be a part of this too, or they’re announcing that they will be a part of this as the time goes forward.”

State leaders are hoping the expansion of larger chains now offering those same services will help to spread awareness and access.

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