Hormonal Contraceptive Consent by Minors

Implications for Pharmacists

Geoffrey Mospan, PharmD, BCPS


US Pharmacist. 2018;43(5):22-25. 

In This Article

Considerations in Dispensing Contraception to Minors

State laws and court decisions can impact how pharmacists dispense hormonal contraceptives for minors. Although the state law may not specifically identify pharmacists, efforts should be made to maintain privacy and confidentiality for minors who present with prescriptions for hormonal contraceptives. This could include asking the patient at the time of drop-off whether the prescription information should be kept confidential from a parent or guardian and whether the patient will personally pick up the dispensed prescription or designate another person. Attaching the minor's filled prescription to another family member's prescription waiting to be dispensed could result in the unauthorized viewing of the minor's hormonal contraceptive. Therefore, it is imperative for the pharmacy to ensure that this documentation is made in the patient's medication profile. Finally, privacy issues may arise if a parent or guardian requests the minor's prescription history, such as a yearly dispensing record for tax purposes. Although a parent or guardian may insist that he or she has a right to view the child's medication history, instances in which a minor can consent to medical treatment generally presume the right to confidentiality.[5,9] Creating sound policies at the pharmacy and training all personnel can help reduce breaches when minors wish to keep their contraceptive prescriptions confidential from parents or guardians.