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Mariava Phillips
May 15, 2024

Associate Dean Mollie Scott with state and local leaders and pharmacy partners.

For Women’s Health Week, School leaders along with state and local leaders came together to mark the expansion of contraception services in pharmacies across North Carolina.  

Ninety-two counties across the state now have pharmacies that provide contraceptive services without a prescription from another medical provider, including counseling and education from a pharmacist, dispensing of contraception and connection to ongoing care if needed. Soon people in all 100 counties will have the option to receive these services. UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy Regional Associate Dean Mollie Scott helped lead these efforts with support from a grant from The Duke Endowment. 

“I am delighted that pharmacists are now providing hormonal contraception in 92 counties in North Carolina, increasing access to reproductive health care in our state,” Scott said. “Our partnerships with North Carolina Association of Pharmacists, Points True North, NCDHHS and NC Medicaid have been extremely impactful, and pharmacists can now be recognized as Medicaid providers and receive payment for clinical pharmacy services. Early data indicates that 50% of patients served by pharmacists do not have a primary care provider, demonstrating that the profession of pharmacy is helping to close the gap in reproductive health.” 

This work addresses the rising maternal and infant mortality rates in North Carolina, where more than half of all pregnancies are unintended. This expansion of contraceptive services will improve the health of moms, babies and families across the state—especially in rural areas with fewer medical providers. 

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) hosted an event in partnership with the School to mark this milestone for the state at Hogan’s Pharmacy in Lillington, North Carolina.  

Logo to identify a family planning pharmacy.

Scott shared about the School’s role and assistance in helping pharmacies provide this needed service. Elizabeth Cuervo Tilson, M.D., State Health Director and the Chief Medical Officer, NCDHHS, spoke on the importance of this work and the partnership it takes to make this happen for the health and well-being of families.

A new logo was also launched at the event. The logo indicates that a pharmacy provides contraception services, helping patients know where to go in their community. Patients can also use the NCAP pharmacy locator map. 

At the gathering, attendees also heard from Kody H. Kinsley, secretary, NCDHHS; Patricia Kempton, regional nurse consultant supervisor, women, infant and community wellness section, division of public health, NCDHHS; and Stacey Hogan, Pharm.D., pharmacist and owner of Hogan’s Pharmacy. 

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