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We sought to explore the readiness of pharmacists to fill prescriptions for mifepristone should Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy regulations allow for pharmacy dispensing.
Interviews were conducted by phone or Zoom with 21 pharmacists in nine states between June and December 2021 to explore their knowledge about misoprostol and mifepristone, their comfort with dispensing both medications; and to explore resources needed to dispense mifepristone. All interviews were recorded, transcribed, verified, and coded using Dedoose. We identified key themes through content analysis.
Participants had backgrounds in a range of pharmacy settings. Nearly all participants reported that they would be comfortable dispensing mifepristone directly to patients, noting that pharmacists commonly dispense complex medications and have tools to self-educate about newly available medications. In general, participants felt coworkers and employers would support pharmacy dispensing of mifepristone, but cited concerns that some may refuse based on individual beliefs and that pharmacies may hesitate to dispense if they face community backlash. However, some participants also observed that pharmacists often are not given information about the reason a patient was prescribed mifepristone. Most participants would welcome training on mifepristone in the form of reading materials or educational webinars. Suggested topics for training included drug side effects and interactions as well as patient counseling.
Pharmacists would be comfortable dispensing mifepristone with minimal training if certified to do so. Although participants identified peer-level and employer-level barriers to dispensing mifepristone, they believed overall that their colleagues and employers would be supportive of pharmacy dispensing.
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