LANSING, Mich. (Michigan News Source) – Pharmacists in Michigan are now eligible to prescribe hormonal birth control in partnership with doctors.

The action from the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) stems from an executive directive from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. In May, she asked state departments and agencies to identify and assess opportunities to increase protections for what she calls “reproductive health care.”

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“This expansion allows for broader access to certain forms of birth control,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, Chief Medical Executive of the State of Michigan. “ Expanded access to hormonal contraceptives provides flexibility for women to manage their reproductive health outside their regularly scheduled health care appointments.”

Under LARA, licensed physicians can delegate to pharmacists the ability to prescribe self-administered, hormonal contraceptives in most circumstances which include oral contraceptives, the patch, and the ring.

Since hormonal birth control can have harmful side effects for women with certain health conditions, LARA said physicians and pharmacists should review their individual circumstances and practices and speak with their respective attorneys. That way, LARA officials said, it would ensure that adequate procedures and drug protocols are provided.

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In addition, LARA staff will review prescription and dispensing practices during their routine pharmacy inspections and investigate any violations of Michigan’s Public Health Code.