Medication Abortion With Pharmacist Dispensing of Mifepristone

Daniel Grossman, C. Finley Baba, Shelly Kaller, M. Antonia Biggs, Sarah Raifman, Tanvi Gurazada, Sally Rafie, Sarah Averbach, Karen R. Meckstroth, Elizabeth A. Micks, Erin Berry, Tina R. Raine-Bennett, Mitchell D. Creinin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: To estimate effectiveness and acceptability of medication abortion with mifepristone dispensed by pharmacists. METHODS: We conducted a prospective cohort study at eight clinical sites and pharmacies in California and Washington State from July 2018 to March 2020. Pharmacists at participating pharmacies underwent a 1-hour training on medication abortion. We approached patients who had already been evaluated, counseled, and consented for medication abortion per standard of care. Patients interested in study participation gave consent, and the clinician electronically sent a prescription to the pharmacy for mifepristone 200 mg orally, followed 24-48 hours later by misoprostol 800 micrograms buccally. Participants were sent web-based surveys about their experience and outcomes on days 2 and 14 after enrollment and had routine follow-up with study sites. We extracted demographic and clinical data, including abortion outcome and adverse events, from medical records. We performed multivariable logistic regression to assess the association of pharmacy experience and other covariates with satisfaction. RESULTS: We enrolled 266 participants and obtained clinical outcome information for 262 (98.5%), of whom two reported not taking either medication. Of the 260 participants with abortion outcome information, 252 (96.9%) and 237 (91.2%) completed day 2 and 14 surveys, respectively. Complete medication abortion (primary outcome) occurred for 243 participants (93.5%, 95% CI 89.7-96.1%). Four participants (1.5%, 95% CI 0.4-3.9%) had an adverse event, none of which was serious or related to pharmacist dispensing. In the day 2 survey, 91.3% (95% CI 87.1-94.4%) of participants reported satisfaction with the pharmacy experience. In the day 14 survey, 84.4% (95% CI 79.1-88.8%) reported satisfaction with the medication abortion experience. Those reporting being very satisfied with the pharmacy experience had higher odds of reporting overall satisfaction with medication abortion (adjusted odds ratio 2.96, 95% CI 1.38-6.32). CONCLUSION: Pharmacist dispensing of mifepristone for medication abortion is effective and acceptable to patients, with a low prevalence of adverse events. CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION:, NCT03320057.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)613-622
Number of pages10
JournalObstetrics and gynecology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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