Saint Louis University Journal of Health Law & Policy


Madhav Y. Bhatt

Document Type

Student Comment


High rates of unintended pregnancies and costs associated with them have been a concern for the health care system in the U.S. The State of Oregon took a unique approach to reduce unintended pregnancy rates within its borders. Oregon enacted a statute that authorized pharmacists to prescribe hormonal contraceptives, which expanded the scope of practice of pharmacists. This Article explores whether states, instead of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), should regulate the scope of practice of health care professionals. This Article further explores the impact of Oregon’s law on access to hormonal contraceptives, safety of women’s health, and costs for patients or the health care system. This Article concludes that Oregon, and states in general, is in a better position than the FDA to regulate the practice of health care professionals. Also, Oregon’s law will increase access to hormonal contraceptives without jeopardizing the safety of women’s health and will not increase costs for patients or for the health care system.