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21-03-2010 | Gynaecology | Article

Pharmacies show promise as setting for depot contraception


Journal abstract

MedWire News: Pharmacies are a feasible alternative to clinicians’ offices as a setting for the administration of depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) for contraception, a US pilot study suggests.

The authors believe that pharmacies are convenient for many women and carry less potential for stigma than family planning clinics, thereby potentially enhancing contraception compliance.

“Pharmacists in all 50 states have state authorization to administer vaccines; so many pharmacists have the clinical skills necessary to administer DMPA,” write Carla Picardo and Stefanie Ferreri, both from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA.

Their study included 50 women who presented to a family planning clinic requesting DMPA. The women were randomly assigned to receive the next two injections either at a nearby pharmacy or at the clinic.

In all, 44 percent of the pharmacy group and 60 percent of the clinic group returned for their second DMPA injection. Of these, 82 percent of the pharmacy group and 80 percent of the clinic group returned for their third injection. Neither between-group difference was significant.

Women in the pharmacy group appeared satisfied with the setting, with 70 percent rating pharmacies as convenient, 100 percent as private, 100 percent as respectful, and 89 percent as satisfactory overall. None of these ratings differed from those of the clinic group.

The authors conclude that pharmacist-administered DMPA has appeal for several reasons and add: “This study showed that the arrangement is acceptable by women.”

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Joanna Lyford