Pharmacist Expand Access to Reproductive Healthcare

Birth control pill packet on pink background

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Women’s Health Research Unit is committed to being a resource to our Oregon and Southwest Washington community and beyond. We are fortunate to have conducted the PEARL study, a study evaluating how pharmacists directly prescribing birth control affects women’s care. Because of this study, we have been able to identify pharmacies in the western United States that can dispense birth control in one visit and without requiring a physical exam. The methods of birth control available through the pharmacy are the pill, the patch, the vaginal ring, and the shot.

Most pharmacies charge a pharmacy service fee for a health evaluation prior to prescribing. This fee is typically not covered by insurance. However, if you are seeking birth control from a pharmacy and are a recipient of the Oregon Health Plan (OHP), both the cost of birth control and the pharmacy service fee will be covered. If you are not an OHP recipient, you may be able to cover the  pharmacy service fee using your health savings account. Additionally, most insurance plans cover the cost of the birth control with no copay required.

Oregon, California, Colorado, and Hawaii are some of the first states to allow pharmacists to directly prescribe birth control, and we want to understand how this is affecting care.

Who do I contact for additional information?

To find out more information, visit one of our participating pharmacies, call the PEARL Study recruitment line at 503-418-1289 or email us at

PI: Maria Rodriguez, MD, MPH; IRB# 16158

PEARL Study in the News

Early results show that pharmacist prescription of contraception reaches new users of contraception, preventing unintended pregnancy and saving state funds.

Dr. Maria Rodriguez was quoted in a Time Magazine article about bipartisan efforts to make birth control available over the counter.