Pharmacists Prescribing of Oral Contraceptives

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One of the most safe and effective approaches to avoiding unintended pregnancy is the use of oral contraceptives.  As these products require prescription, access to this form of contraception can be limited, particularly in rural and medically-underserved areas.  California, Oregon and Washington state currently have regulations that allow pharmacists – the health care professionals most accessible to many patients – to prescribe oral contraceptive products under protocol.  At least 10 other states are currently considering similar legislation, including New Hampshire.  According to the New Hampshire Union Leader, proposed New Hampshire legislation would allow pharmacists to prescribe oral contraceptives leading to a reduction in unintended pregnancies and health care costs.  Many professional organizations, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, have endorsed the concepts behind this legislation.

Additional information about oral contraceptives, including cards devoted to the three major classes of these products (monophasic, biphasic and triphasic) can be found in the Top 300 Pharmacy Drug Cards.  If you or your institution subscribes to AccessPharmacy, use or create your MyAccess Profile to sign-in to the Top 300 Pharmacy Drug Cards.  If your institution does not provide access, ask your medical librarian about subscribing.

Link to Union Leader article:

Link to NH bill:

Lee C. Vermeulen

Professor of Medicine and Pharmacy, University of Kentucky