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HelixTalk #145 - Advancing the Profession: Contraceptive Prescribing by Pharmacists in Illinois

Date posted: March 22, 2022, 6:00 am

In this episode, we bring in two guests to discuss the impact of professional advocacy and resulting professional advancements in the state of Illinois. These guests were the front-line agents of advocacy which resulted in pharmacists' ability to prescribe hormonal contraceptives for patients in Illinois (HB 135). We take a deep dive into their efforts to make this change possible, how it will impact patient care, and its implications on possibilities for further advancement of the pharmacy profession all the while highlighting the importance of professional advocacy.


Key Concepts

  1. Currently 19 states allow pharmacists to prescribe hormonal contraceptives (including oral pills, patches, and rings) when they complete additional training and conduct screening and counseling for patients at the time of prescribing. The Illinois law includes provisions for payment methods for such a service by a pharmacist. 
  2. Data show that these laws are increasing access to care for patients in these states. This along with other prescribing allowances such as naloxone, pave the way for pharmacists prescriber status. 
  3. Passing bills like this takes years of hard work and advocacy on behalf of state pharmacy organizations who collaborate with fellow pharmacists, other healthcare organizations, and lawmakers to support and defend the bill to its fruition.
  4. As the future of pharmacy practice depends on such progressive changes, it is important that student pharmacists and pharmacists prioritize their support to state pharmacy organizations and proactively take part in the advocacy efforts at local, state, and national level.