Background: Pharmacist prescription of contraception is becoming increasingly common in the United States (US). Limited information exists on whether this is improving access to contraception in underserved areas, including rural America. Objective: We sought to determine whether there were differences by rural location in pharmacists’ willingness to prescribe hormonal contraception and perceived barriers to doing so. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional survey of pharmacists eligible to prescribe hormonal contraception in New Mexico in March and May 2020. The survey consisted of demographic data, pharmacists’ experience prescribing hormonal contraception, and questions regarding perceived barriers to pharmacist-prescribed hormonal contraception. Descriptive statistics assessed differences in survey responses between rural and urban pharmacists. We used multivariable logistic regression to estimate the association between rural practice and prescribing hormonal contraception. Results: Our sampling frame consisted of 822 licensed pharmacists. We received 256 responses, for a response rate of 31.1%. We found that rural pharmacists were as likely as their urban counterparts to prescribe hormonal contraception (adjusted odds ratio 1.22 [95% CI 0.56–2.68], P = 0.50). Five main barriers included a need for additional training, reimbursement for services, liability concerns, corporate policies, and shortage of staff. No difference in barriers were identified by rural location or staff role. Conclusion: Pharmacy access has the potential to improve access to contraception across New Mexico, including underserved rural areas.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (nursing)