Patient experiences with pharmacist prescribed hormonal contraception in California independent and chain pharmacies

J Am Pharm Assoc (2003). 2022 Jan-Feb;62(1):378-386. doi: 10.1016/j.japh.2021.11.002. Epub 2021 Nov 3.


Background: Pharmacist contraception care is an innovative practice that is rapidly expanding with policy changes. There is limited literature describing patient experiences with this pharmacist service.

Objective: The objective of this study is to describe patient experiences using pharmacist-prescribed hormonal contraception in California pharmacies.

Methods: An online survey was conducted among a cross-sectional convenience sample of people of all ages who completed a contraception visit with a pharmacist from December 2017 to January 2019 at a participating independent or chain pharmacy in California. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze data on patient characteristics, experiences and satisfaction with the service, and preventive health screenings.

Results: A total of 160 individuals completed the survey and nearly all were adults (97%) and had started or completed postsecondary education (85%). Most (72%) visited the pharmacy to get a prescription for a contraceptive method they were already using. The most common method prescribed was the pill (90%). The most common reason for seeking a prescription at a pharmacy was because it would be faster than waiting for a doctor's appointment (74%), followed by the location and hours being more convenient (46% and 41%), saving money (28%), and not having a regular doctor (26%). Respondents reported satisfaction with the services overall (97%), level of comfort they felt with the pharmacist (94%), counseling provided (86%), and level of privacy (74%). Nearly all were likely to return to a pharmacist for contraception (96%) and recommend the service to a friend (95%).

Conclusion: Pharmacist prescribing of contraception in community pharmacies provided a convenient access point that was highly acceptable to patients who used it. One area for attention is in the level of privacy during contraception visits. These findings support the effectiveness of direct pharmacy access to contraception and encourage pharmacist contraception prescribing policies and widespread implementation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • California
  • Contraception
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Hormonal Contraception
  • Humans
  • Patient Outcome Assessment
  • Pharmacies*
  • Pharmacists