Emergency contraceptives given out by school nurses in New York City

September 28, 2012

Thirteen New York City public high school nurses are taking on the role of the pharmacist by dispensing emergency contraceptive pills to hundreds of students, according to a Reuters report.

Thirteen New York City public high school nurses are taking on the role of the pharmacist by dispensing emergency contraceptive pills to hundreds of students, according to a Reuters report.

The school program, Connecting Adolescents to Comprehensive Healthcare (CATCH), is provided by privately run health clinics. The 13 schools with the morning-after-pill available were chosen because there were not any nearby clinics.

Public health pharmacist Fred Mayer, RPh, MPH, and CEO of Pharmacists Planning Services, agrees with the schools’ move to provide the medication to students, but he thinks pharmacists should be involved.

"There are side effects to these pills and that’s why they should be controlled by a pharmacist," Mayer said. "Pharmacists need to get involved in healthcare or they’re going to find nurses taking over their jobs."

Condoms, birth control, and pregnancy testing are also made available to the students. Parents were told about the program, which began last year, and given the chance to have their child opt-out of the program.

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