EC Protocols

In California, a law effective January 1, 2002, allows pharmacists to provide Emergency Contraception (EC) to women directly, without them first having to get a prescription from a doctor or clinic. Following the FDA decision to make Plan B EC available without a prescription for consumers 18 and older, all women, including teens and women without proof of age, will still be able to obtain EC directly from specially trained pharmacists (in the states that allow pharmacy access to EC). Click here for more information on the FDA decision.

Pharmacists must have a protocol to initiate emergency contraception (EC) drug therapy in California. Below you may download a sample collaborative protocol that is widely used in California, or obtain a copy of the Statewide Protocol on the CA State Board of Pharmacy web site at

  • Collaborative Protocol Editable Document (64K) | PDF (28K)
  • List of Brands and Doses (PDF-28K)
  • Drug Topics “Emergency Contraception: A Clinical Review.” February 2006.

Pharmacy Access Partnership is able to link all eligible pharmacists in California to EC protocols signed by a licensed physician. We maintain a registry of physicians who have expressed interest in working with local pharmacists to ensure that emergency contraception is readily available in their community.

The State Pharmacy and Medical Boards have approved a statewide protocol to help facilitate the initiation of EC drug therapy by pharmacists. Pharmacists may download a copy of the protocol from, provided they have met minimal EC educational requirements, they will be able to initiate EC drug therapy directly to the public under the policies and procedures outlined in that protocol. Pharmacists may continue to develop or maintain individual physician signed protocols.

For more information and answers to frequently asked questions on collaborative protocols click here.

To understand collaborative protocols for EC in other states click here.