Attitudes of Michigan Female College Students About Pharmacists Prescribing Birth Control in a Community Pharmacy

Pharmacy (Basel). 2020 Jun 9;8(2):99. doi: 10.3390/pharmacy8020099.


In the United States, the overall unintended pregnancy rate is about 45%. Women between 20-24 years old account for 59% of the unintended pregnancies. Continuous birth control use is related to decreasing unintended pregnancies. Therefore, we assessed female college students' opinions about pharmacists prescribing birth control in a community pharmacy using an intersectionality framework. A survey with 49 items about provider attributes, pharmacy services use and evaluation, advantages and barriers of pharmacists prescribing birth control, sexual and reproductive history, and demographics was distributed by survey link and QR code. Recruitment was done by investigators and students (snowballing technique) via emails, social media posts, and direct student contact. Respondents (n = 859) were 23.0 ± 4.9 years old, 83% white, 64% healthcare students, 32% student pharmacists, 69% sexually active, 68% with at least one episode of unprotected intercourse within a year, and 29% never using condoms. Forty-six percent of students were extremely likely and 26% moderately likely to get birth control from a pharmacist because it would be easier to adhere to birth control, could prevent unintended pregnancies, would be more convenient, and require less time. Concerns included the lack of Pap screenings and prescriptions written for the wrong birth control. Within most student characteristics or attitudes assessed, at least 70% of the students would use this service. Based on student opinions, female college students would use pharmacists prescribing birth control services.

Keywords: birth control; college students; community pharmacy; hormonal contraception; pharmacist prescribing; pharmacy access; pregnancy.