Characterizing pharmacist-prescribed hormonal contraception services and users in California and Oregon pharmacies

Contraception. 2019 Apr;99(4):239-243. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2018.12.002. Epub 2018 Dec 16.


Objectives: This study describes hormonal contraception services provided by pharmacists and characterizes patient populations utilizing the service at one supermarket-based pharmacy chain in California and Oregon.

Study design: This is a descriptive study of 391 pharmacies in California and Oregon within a supermarket-based pharmacy chain providing hormonal contraception services and the patients who utilized those services in a 6.5-month period between August 2016 and February 2017. Data were extracted from pharmacy prescription records and available visit documentation forms to describe services provided and patient characteristics.

Results: During the study period, 381 trained pharmacists from the pharmacy chain provided hormonal contraception services in 391 pharmacy locations in Oregon and California. A total of 2117 visits were completed and 1970 hormonal contraception prescriptions were issued and dispensed during the study period. Researchers were able to access documentation for 676 visits (32%). Patients from various age groups (range 13-55 years old) and geographical locations (22 states total) utilized the service. Most had health insurance (74%), had seen a primary care provider in the past year (89%) and were previous hormonal contraception users (91%). Contraceptive methods prescribed include pill (n=1886, 95.7%), patch (n=31, 1.6%), vaginal ring (n=51, 2.6%) and injectable (n=2, 0.1%).

Conclusion: Following scope of practice expansion, pharmacists in a community-based pharmacy setting are serving as an access point for women to obtain hormonal contraception services and supplies.

Implications: This study provides an initial look at California's and Oregon's expansion of hormonal contraception prescribing authority to pharmacists. The service was available across all pharmacy locations of a supermarket-based chain in California and select locations in Oregon and utilized by diverse populations of patients. Pharmacists effectively provided hormonal contraception services and supplies to most patients seeking hormonal contraception.

Keywords: Community pharmacy services; Contraception; Pharmacist prescribing; Pharmacists; Women's health.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • California
  • Drug Prescriptions / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Hormonal Contraception / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Oregon
  • Pharmacies / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult