Prescribing oral contraceptives: A new pharmacist role in family planning services




White, Annesha
Khanani, Kiran


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Purpose: The Guttmacher Institute defines unintended pregnancy as mistimed or unwanted. In 2011, 45% of pregnancies were reported as unintended. Pharmacists are one of the most trusted and accessible professionals and prescribing oral contraceptives offers a new role. The objective of this study was to examine the literature on the role of pharmacists in family planning services. Increasing pharmacists' role can increase the accessibility to effective and proper use of contraception. Methods: A systematic review was conducted via PubMed, Google Scholar, 2010-2019, with key terms "role of pharmacists services and unintended pregnancies." A PRISMA flow diagram was used to document the process. Articles were summarized in a table organized by year, author(s), title, design, intervention, findings, source and quality grade. Results: A total of 15 articles were retrieved. The majority were observational studies. Findings revealed there are ten states along with Washington D.C. in which pharmacists are allowed to prescribe oral contraceptives. In four states pharmacists prescribe under a collaborative agreement. Allowing pharmacists to prescribe oral contraceptives is being used as a strategy to increase accessibility and reduce unintended pregnancies. Conclusions: The expanded role of pharmacist prescribing offers potential to decrease the rate of unintended pregnancies leading to better maternal health outcomes.