HARTFORD, CT – State Representative Tracy Marra (R-141) on Wednesday joined Governor Lamont and legislative colleagues as he signed a public health and safety law that allows pharmacists to prescribe oral and emergency contraception, as well as legalizing over-the-counter medications such as Plan B to be sold in vending machines. This increases the access of these important medications in women’s health.
A trained pharmacist, Rep. Marra, along with fellow House Republican Representatives Nicole Klarides-Ditria (R-105) and Devin Carney (R-23) proposed the initial concept to legalize emergency contraception in vending machines.
“We proposed allowing over the counter Plan B to be in vending machines because we know many young women across the state have difficulty accessing reproductive healthcare,” Rep. Marra, said. “I want to thank the governor for signing this law to increase women’s access to medications that are vitally important to their health. Also, allowing pharmacists to prescribe oral and emergency contraception will help remove those barriers, especially for our underserved communities.”
Public Act 23-52 – An Act Concerning the Department of Consumer Protection’s Recommendations Regarding Prescription Drug Regulations – makes several changes regarding pharmacy operations and access to certain medications, including oral contraceptives and opioid antagonists. This law allows businesses a permit to operate vending machines selling over the counter (OTC) medications, which includes OTC Plan B. Prior to the bill signing, Connecticut was the only state in the nation that currently has a prohibition to placing non-prescription drugs in vending machines.
“This law offers increased healthcare protections for Connecticut women and provides equal access to important medications to everyone without restriction,” Rep. Marra said. “It’s another positive step forward toward our goal of providing unfettered access to medical services for women statewide.”
The bill passed the House by a vote of 125-21, and the Senate unanimously.