Encouraging comprehensive and consistent pharmacist education for provision of contraception

J Am Pharm Assoc (2003). 2018 Jan-Feb;58(1):113-116. doi: 10.1016/j.japh.2017.10.017.


Objectives: To initiate a call to action for community pharmacists and key stakeholders to encourage comprehensive and consistent education and certification for contraception services, especially in states where laws have been enacted for pharmacist prescribing of hormonal contraceptives.

Date sources: Websites for several boards of pharmacy that have implemented pharmacist training for contraceptive prescribing.

Summary: From the authors' perspective of helping to implement laws that allow pharmacist prescribing of contraception in Oregon and Colorado, lessons learned have shown that it is better to have 1 consistent resource for pharmacist certification for the following reasons: 1) Boards of pharmacy are able to ensure patient safety because all pharmacists are providing the same level of care to every patient; 2) retail chain pharmacies and pharmacy managers are assured that all their pharmacists, regardless of state, are trained in a similar and appropriate manner; and 3) pharmacists can be reimbursed through medical insurance for the patient encounter because payers are able to identify and credential pharmacists who pass an approved and accredited certification program.

Conclusion: New laws allowing pharmacists to prescribe contraception are expanding to other states, and the implementation of these laws provides an important increase in pharmacists' scope of practice. This exciting new prospect allows the pharmacy community of each state an opportunity to coordinate and learn from each other on best practices for implementation. Having a consistent training program was identified as being one key aspect of successful implementation.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Community Pharmacy Services / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Contraception
  • Education, Pharmacy / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Fertilization / drug effects*
  • Health Services Accessibility / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Humans
  • Pharmacists / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Professional Role