Oregon Study Shows Pharmacist Prescribing of Birth Control Increases Access; Reduces Costs

A new study from the Oregon Health & Science University shows that pharmacist prescribing of birth control increases accessibility to contraception and reduces the overall cost and rate of unintended pregnancies.  Oregon passed a law allowing pharmacists to prescribe birth control in 2015 — this study focused on the first two years of the program and focused on Oregon Medicaid enrollees.  As reported by the Portland Business Journal, the chief findings of the study were:

  • 10 percent of all new oral and transdermal contraceptive prescriptions were written by pharmacists.
  • Five months after implementation, pharmacists filled an average of 61 prescriptions per month as the prescriber.
  • Most claims originated from retail chain pharmacies in urban locations.
  • Nearly 74 percent of patients given either the pill, patch or ring had not used any form of prescribed birth control the prior month.
  • The safety profile observed with pharmacists is equal to clinicians prescribing contraception.

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Related: Pharmacist Prescribing for Hormonal Contraceptives Medications