Pharmacist-prescribed hormonal contraception: A review of the current landscape

J Am Pharm Assoc (2003). 2019 Sep-Oct;59(5):633-641. doi: 10.1016/j.japh.2019.05.015. Epub 2019 Jul 9.


Objective: The objective of this article is to review the current supply-side, demand-side, and regulatory landscape of pharmacist-prescribed hormonal contraception (HC) in the United States.

Summary: Pharmacists appear to be supportive of pharmacist-prescribed HC. However, support does not necessarily indicate likelihood to implement the practice, even when reimbursement mechanisms exist. The likelihood of implementation can be increased with education and training of HC prescribing. Previous investigations suggest that women broadly support accessing contraception within a pharmacy. Expanded access, where available, can improve rates of use and adherence. Women at higher risk for unintended pregnancy, such as younger women and women without health insurance, are likely to use the pharmacy to procure HC. Despite a willingness to pay for HC consultations with pharmacists, costs can remain a significant barrier for many women.

Conclusions: Expanding access to HC through pharmacist-prescriptive authority could help curb the rates of unintended pregnancy in the United States. Pharmacists are well positioned for such a role; however, significant barriers for pharmacists and patients remain. Examination of current implementation methods will assist policy makers in overcoming these barriers.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Drug Prescriptions / standards*
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility / organization & administration
  • Hormonal Contraception / standards*
  • Humans
  • Pharmaceutical Services / organization & administration*
  • Pharmacies
  • Pharmacists
  • Pregnancy
  • Professional Role
  • United States