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Implementation of hormonal contraceptive furnishing in San Francisco community pharmacies.

  • Author(s): Chen, Lauren
  • Lim, Julie
  • Jeong, Asher
  • Apollonio, Dorie E
  • et al.
Abstract

Background

In 2013, California passed Senate Bill 493, which allowed pharmacists to furnish hormonal contraceptives without a physician's prescription. Despite this expanded scope of practice, only 11% of the pharmacies reported furnishing hormonal contraception over the following 6 years.

Objectives

Our study objectives were to determine the extent of hormonal contraceptive furnishing and identify the factors that led to successful implementation in San Francisco community pharmacies.

Methods

Backspace we conducted a cross-sectional survey to identify community pharmacies furnishing hormonal contraception in San Francisco. Interviews were coded inductively to identify consistent themes. Semistructured interviews with pharmacists at the locations that furnished contraception identified the factors that had led to successful implementation in local community pharmacies, as well as assessing changes in practice during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Results

San Francisco had 113 operational community pharmacies in April 2020. Of these, 21 locations reported that they furnished hormonal contraception (19%), and we interviewed pharmacists at 12 of those locations. We identified 3 key factors that drove implementation at the pharmacy level: administrative support, advertising, and pharmacist engagement. Additional drivers of implementation involved the nature of the community. The respondents also reported on barriers that continued to slow adoption, including consultation fees, time constraints, and patient privacy. Changes in demand for services owing to COVID-19 risks were inconsistent.

Conclusion

Our findings suggest strategies that community pharmacies can use to expand their scope of practice and improve quality and continuity of care for patients.

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