STAND. COM. REP. NO.1050-02
RE: H.R. No. 137
Honorable Calvin K.Y. Say
Speaker, House of Representatives
Twenty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2002
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Consumer Protection and Commerce, to which was referred H.R. No. 137 entitled:
"HOUSE RESOLUTION REQUESTING THE DRAFTING AND IMPLEMENTATION OF A PROTOCOL TO ALLOW EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTION,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this resolution is to reduce unintended pregnancies and induced abortions, by requesting that an advisory committee on protocols be formed to draft protocols allowing pharmacists to dispense emergency contraception without a prior prescription from physicians.
The Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women, the Hawaii Women's Political Caucus and the Hawaii Women's Coalition, Planned Parenthood of Hawaii, Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Hawaii, Kaiser Permanente, and a concerned individual offered testimony in support of this resolution. The Board of Pharmacy commented on the measure and offered an amendment.
Your Committee finds that emergency contraception is an important tool for reducing unplanned pregnancies resulting from failures of contraceptives, failure to use contraceptives, or sexual assaults. In addition, induced abortions subsequent to unintended pregnancies could be avoided if emergency contraceptive measures were more readily available.
Your Committee further finds the availability and timeliness of the use of emergency contraception plays a crucial role in its effectiveness. Presently, pharmacists are not allowed to dispense emergency contraceptives without a prescription from a physician, whose services may not be easily accessible or available. Limited physician access is of particular concern for those in rural, low income, or neighbor island communities. With limited access, the window of effectiveness of emergency contraceptives becomes smaller, because although emergency contraceptives must be used within 72 hours, they are most effective when used within 24 hours.
Your Committee finds that this measure takes a reasonable approach toward addressing a difficult but critically important issue facing our community. The proposed advisory committee on protocols is to be chaired by the Chairperson of the Board of Pharmacy and to consist of representatives of pharmacist, obstetrician, and gynecologist associations, and of the Hawaii Medical Association. This allows for a strong collaboration to take place between medical and pharmacy professionals in developing and reaching consensus on the protocols.
Your Committee understands that the Board of Pharmacy is concerned that its chairperson may be unable to attend all meetings of the advisory committee on protocols.
Accordingly, your Committee has amended this resolution by allowing the Chairperson of the Board of Pharmacy or the Chairperson's designee to chair the advisory committee on protocols. Technical, nonsubstantive amendments have also been made for consistency and style.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Consumer Protection and Commerce that is attached to this report, your Committee concurs with the intent and purpose of H.R. No. 137, as amended herein, and recommends its adoption in the form attached hereto as H.R. No. 137, H.D. 1.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Consumer Protection and Commerce,
KENNETH T. HIRAKI, Chair