The Injectable Contraception (IC) Program allows pharmacists to partner with physicians and clinics to better meet the needs of contracepting women. In this innovative program, established patients on injectable contraceptives (Depo-Provera) are given the choice of obtaining re-injection at their regular provider or at a participating pharmacy. The idea behind this effort is simple: why not afford patients on injectable contraceptives the same convenience as oral contraceptive (OC) users? Increasingly, pharmacists are also routinely providing injections and many schools of pharmacy now require that graduates be trained to administer injections. Pharmacies are open in the evening and weekends, and can offer highly convenient and accessible services. These changes make pharmacies a viable option to perform a “re-supply” function for women on injectable contraceptives in much the same way that they re-supply women on oral contraceptives.
In 2003, Pharmacy Access Partnership developed an Injectable Contraception Program (also known as Health Step) to evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of pharmacist provision of Depo-Provera injections at the pharmacy. Twenty seven pharmacists, practicing in 26 pharmacies partnered with 19 clinics and physician’s offices in eight geographic areas around California. Pharmacists were required to complete a contraception management training in administration technique for injectable contraception and the incorporation of a new clinical service into the pharmacy practice. Participating pharmacists also were required to create a private or semiprivate area in the pharmacy to provide injections. Clinicians were asked to incorporate an additional line of discussion with Depo-Provera patients and provide instruction and direction for those who were interested in seeking reinjection at participating pharmacies. For this, women were required to manage their injection cycle and return for reinjection — to the clinic or pharmacy — four times a year. As of September 2006, the funding stream supporting this demonstration program ended, however some pharmacists and clinicians who successfully integrated this service into their practices continue to offer the pharmacy re-injection option to their clients.
See our published article in the Journal of the American Pharmacist Association for more information and lessons learned.
To access the continuing education training program Incorporating the Administration of Injectable Contraceptives into a Pharmacy-Based Practice developed in collaboration with the CPhA Educational Foundation, or to become an injectable contraception provider contact firstname.lastname@example.org