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Call for nurses to prescribe contraceptive pill

Friday, February 20, 2015

Media Release

Letting nurses prescribe the contraceptive pill would make it easier, and cheaper, for women to get the pill we said in a submission to the Government regulators who are considering a proposal to make the pill available over the counter (OTC) through pharmacies.

The regulators (Medsafe) are not expected to make a decision on the issue until May this year. A One News item got feedback on the proposal from a range of providers including us.

Watch the One News item about over the counter provision of the contraceptive pill

We made a submission to Medsafe on the issue last year and our key recommendations were:

  • Allow more primary care nurses to prescribe contraception by reviewing the protocols fo nurse prescribing through the Nursing Council 
  • Assess the proposed move to pharmacist supply of oral contraception for its potential effects on health equities and reducing disparities. This means identifying if the change is making it easier and cheaper for the women who need it most. 
  • Ensure high-quality training of non-medical providers of oral contraception, particularly: 
      • In the assessment of the risks to women’s health 
      • Teaching how to take pills correctly 
      • Training in sensitive treatment of women seeking contraception.

“Our nurses are already trained and well-placed to prescribe contraceptive pills. A rapid way to improve access to contraception would be to immediately review the protocols for more prescribing through the Nursing Council to allow more primary case nurses to prescribe contraception,” we told Medsafe.

Our new phone consultation service means some women can already get the pill from us – after having their appointment over the phone with one of our nurses. 

Read our submission to Medsafe on the pharmacist supply of selected oral contraceptives

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