HB 817 – Allow Pharmacists to Dispense Contraceptives

Primary House Sponsors: Rep. Julie von Haefen (D-Wake); Rep. Deb Butler (D-New Hanover); Rep Susan Fisher (D-Buncombe)




This bill

  • Requires the State Health Director to issue a statewide standing order authorizing licensed pharmacists to dispense self-administered hormonal contraceptives. The State Health Director must consult with the NC Medical Board, the NC Board of Pharmacy, and DHHS to develop written protocols to dispense a self-administered hormonal contraceptive, including: (1) a risk assessment questionnaire, (2) requirements for the written records of the request, and (3) the length of time a written record must be maintained by the pharmacist.
  • Requires the statewide standing order to detail information the dispensing pharmacist must give to the patient concerning the contraceptive, including: (1) the importance of obtaining recommended tests and screening from the patient’s primary care provider or other provider who specializes in women’s health; (2) the effectiveness of long-acting reversible contraceptives as an alternative to self-administered hormonal contraceptives; (3) when to seek emergency medical services as a result of administering a self-administered hormonal contraceptive, and (4) the risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection and ways to reduce that risk.
  • Authorizes a licensed pharmacist to dispense a self-administered hormonal contraceptive to an individual if the contraceptive is administered in compliance with a statewide standing order issued by the State Health Director.
  • Requires pharmacists to provide a risk assessment questionnaire to any patient who requests the questionnaire prior to dispensing the self-administered hormonal contraceptive. If the pharmacist determines that it is unsafe to dispense the self-administered hormonal contraceptive after reviewing the completed questionnaire, the pharmacist must not dispense the contraceptive and must refer the patient to the patient’s primary care provider or another qualified health care provider.
  • Requires pharmacists who dispense a contraceptive to create and maintain records, inform the patients about the proper administration and storage of the contraceptive, potential side effects, and the need to use other methods of contraception if appropriate. Pharmacists must also provide certain specified information, including a copy of patient records and a copy of the risk assessment questionnaire completed by the patient upon request by the patient.
  • Requires insurers providing health benefit plans to provide coverage for nonprescription contraceptive drugs, devices, and products.
  • Prohibits health benefit plans from imposing any deductible, coinsurance, copayment, or other cost-sharing requirement on coverage for prescription contraception drugs or devices, including any self-administered hormonal contraceptive.



Filed – 5/4/2021