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Creating youth-informed and youth-centered pharmacy access to contraception in Washington, DC

Kate Grindlay, Ibis Reproductive Health

Project abstract

In 2012, the District of Columbia (DC) passed a law authorizing the Boards of Pharmacy and Medicine to develop regulations allowing pharmacists, through collaborative practice agreements with healthcare providers, to prescribe hormonal birth control. Advocates for Youth played a central role in developing and promoting this law, with the goal of increasing contraceptive access among young people in DC. California and Oregon have also recently passed bills allowing pharmacists to prescribe birth control, and numerous other states have introduced similar legislation.

As the DC Boards of Pharmacy and Medicine are currently finalizing regulatory details, we propose to inform protocols of pharmacy practice to ensure that young people's needs and perspectives are prioritized by conducting a mixed-method research project including: focus groups with young women aged 14-24, a focus group with pharmacists, and a survey of DC pharmacists.

This study will explore young women's perspectives regarding the delivery of contraceptive services by pharmacists including appropriate locations for service provision, need for confidentiality, and quality and content of contraceptive and sexual health counseling provided. The study will also assess the degree of readiness among local pharmacists to begin providing contraceptive services. Finally, our results will inform policy and pharmacy practice guidelines for youth contraceptive provision in DC and elsewhere.

By partnering with youth leadership through all stages of project design, implementation, analysis, and dissemination, this project centers and uplifts the voices of young people and ensures that their contraceptive needs are met in a way that is accessible, respectful, and culturally appropriate.


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