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Governor Hochul announces birth control to be sold over-the-counter at pharmacies


New York State Department of Health Issues Standing Order to Make Oral Hormonal Pill, Hormonal Vaginal Ring and Hormonal Contraceptive Patch Available Without Prescription

 Participating Pharmacists Will be Permitted to Dispense up to 12 Month Supply of Contraception

Standing Order Will Further New York State’s Mission to Provide Safe and Legal Reproductive Health Care to All

Governor Kathy Hochul today joined New York State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald at College Parkside Pharmacy in Albany to sign a standing order authorizing pharmacists to dispense three types of hormonal contraception medication without a prescription. This measure makes it easier for people who have difficulty accessing a primary care provider to get safe and effective contraception at their local pharmacy, and furthers New York State’s mission to provide safe and legal family planning care to all. 

“At a time when reproductive rights are under attack, New York State will continue to fight for every individual’s right to access the health care they need,” Governor Hochul said. “Starting a family is a deeply personal decision and New York State will always be a place where people can access safe and effective contraceptives.”  

The standing order signed by the State Health Commissioner pertains to three types of self-administered hormonal contraceptives that are approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration to prevent pregnancy, which include the following: 

  • Oral hormonal pill
  • Hormonal vaginal ring
  • Hormonal contraceptive patch

Pharmacists who choose to participate can dispense up to 12 months of a self-administered hormonal contraception of the individual’s preference and covered under their insurance.

Today’s announcement builds on several actions from Governor Kathy Hochul since the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Governor Hochul led New York State in protecting abortion access, including making a nation-leading $35 million investment to support abortion providers across the state, purchasing a five-year supply of misoprostol and signing laws protecting patients and providers and strengthening access for abortion care through telehealth services. As part of her FY2024 budget, Governor Hochul allocated $100.7 million in new funding to support abortion providers and reproductive health care.

The New York State Board of Regents, the agency that grants pharmacy licenses, voted on March 12, 2024, to approve an emergency amendment that was necessary before the State Health Commissioner could issue the standing order.

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