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One Bill, Many Wins!

Posted on May 25, 2023

Reps. Marra, Klarides-Ditria Strongly Support Measure Addressing Women’s Health and Addiction in the Same Bill.  This is a Triumph for Connecticut!

State Representatives Tracy Marra (R-141) and Nicole Klarides-Ditria (R-105) today applauded passage of a public health and safety measure to allow opioid antagonist medications and oral contraceptives to be sold in vending machines statewide.

House Bill 6768 – 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. Connecticut is the only state in the nation that currently has a prohibition to placing non-prescription drugs in vending machines.

“I’m thrilled about many aspects of this bill, most importantly making Narcan, a life-saving opioid reversal medication, more widely available in our state both in vending machines and with other public entities across the state” Rep. Marra, a trained pharmacist who introduced the initial concept to the General Law Committee, said. “Unfortunately, dangerous drugs are in our state, are here to stay, and will continue to negatively affect our communities. The legislation passed in the house today is one of many steps we need to take to help our reduce opioid deaths and addiction in Connecticut.”

Among the many benefits of the legislation, it addresses the barrier to reproductive healthcare in Connecticut by increasing access of oral contraception and emergency contraception, and allows certified pharmacists the ability to prescribe and dispense these medications.  This bill allows businesses a permit to operate vending machines selling over the counter (OTC) medications, which includes OTC Plan B.

“Providing safe and easy access to oral contraceptives allows women to have more control over their health care, including reducing the risk of an unwanted pregnancy, regardless of time of day,” Rep. Klarides-Ditria, Ranking Member of the Public Health Committee said. “The medications allowed to be sold under this statute are the same safe, proven over the counter drugs that can be purchased without prescription.  This is a very good step forward for women’s health.”

The bill passed the House by a vote of 125-21. It will now be sent to the Senate to await further action. The legislative session ends at midnight on Wednesday, June 7, 2023.