Pharmacist's perceptions of nurse prescribing of emergency contraception

Neil Cooper, David Blackwell, Gemma Taylor, Keith Holden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Proposed strategies to reduce the rate of unplanned pregnancy in the UK include widening access to hormonal emergency contraception (HEC) through nurse prescribing and over-the-counter sales by pharmacists. This article reports on the perceptions of pharmacists regarding the appropriateness of nurse prescribing of HEC drawn from a survey of pharmacists' attitudes towards HEC deregulation. A 10% sample (n = 3999) of all members of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain was surveyed and a response rate of 38.6% (1543 respondents) achieved. Pharmacists were asked whether or not nurses should prescribe HEC and in what capacity. In respect of the statement that: 'Nurses should not be allowed to prescribe post-coital contraception', 42% of respondents agreed while 31.6% disagreed. This indicates that pharmacists do not have a consensus view regarding nurse prescribing of HEC. Arrangements for pharmacists prescribing under protocol received the support of 60.2% of respondents, whereas 41% expressed support for nurse prescribing under protocol. There was also relatively little support for 'specifically trained' nurses prescribing HEC. The findings are considered in relation to the development of a coherent and accessible provision of HEC and the wider implications for interprofessional relationships concerning prescribing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-131
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Community Nursing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2000


  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Consensus
  • Contraceptives, Postcoital
  • Drug Prescriptions
  • Drug and Narcotic Control
  • Great Britain
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Legislation, Nursing
  • Pharmacists
  • Professional Autonomy

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