Pharmacy Focus : Episode 80

Pharmacy Focus: OTC Contraception and Reproductive Health


Cristin Hackel discusses the current state of OTC contraception options, the differences between OTC and prescription methods, and how pharmacists can promote education and awareness.

About The Expert

Cristin Hackel is a nurse practitioner with 25 years of experience who has worked in OB/GYN offices across the United States, as well as Japan. She joined Nurx in 2017 and currently serves as the medical director of Nurx Gynecological Services. In her role, Cristin provides direct patient care, in addition to overseeing a large team of providers, ensuring timely, high quality care delivery to over 500,000 active patients.

This episode of Pharmacy Focus features an interview with Cristin Hackel, MSN, medical director at Nurx Women's Health by Thirty Madison, about OTC contraception and the pharmacist's role in reproductive health. The discussion covers currently available OTC options, like condoms and emergency contraceptive pills, as well as recent developments like the approval of the Opill. She explains the differences in efficacy between OTC and prescription methods and how OTC options can increase accessibility but require self-screening. Further, Hackel addresses the potential public health benefits of improved access to contraception and the impact on reproductive rights. She also discusses strategies for pharmacists to promote education and awareness of contraception options within their communities, such as stocking these OTC products and being knowledgeable to advise patients.

Key Takeaways

  1. Opill was approved by the FDA in 2023 as the first OTC oral contraceptive pill.
  2. OTC options have lower efficacy than prescription methods but provide improved accessibility without a provider visit.
  3. Increased access to contraception can positively impact public health outcomes by reducing risks associated with unintended pregnancy.
  4. Pharmacists play an important role in stocking OTC options, promoting education and awareness, and advising patients about contraceptive options.
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