<h5>Objectives</h5> Recent studies have shown that dispensing a greater supply of oral contraceptives (OCPs) at a clinical visit is associated with fewer repeat visits and greater contraceptive continuation at 15 months after initial supply. Our current objective is to determine whether a year's supply of OCPs is associated with a reduction in unintended pregnancy compared to dispensing one ore three packs at a visit.</P><h5>Method</h5> We compare pregnancy rates between women who received a year's supply (12 or 13 packs) versus 1 and 3 packs using a linkage between contraceptive dispensing claims from California's state family planning program and pregnancy events in California's Medicaid program.</P><h5>Results</h5> Dispensing a year's supply is associated with a 30% reduction in the odds of conceiving a pregnancy in the next year, and a 50% reduction in the odds of an abortion compared to dispensing just 1 or 3 packs, controlling for race/ethnicity, age and recent use of oral contraception.</P><h5>Conclusions</h5> This is the first study to show an association between the abortion rate and number of oral contraceptive pill packs dispensed A greater supply of OCPs may facilitate continuation of use by obviating the need for repeated resupply visits to a clinic or pharmacy. Being given a year's supply may also set up the expectation that OCPs are acceptable and safe and therefore encourage continuation. Our results may also be affected by a selection effect whereby more compliant users are given a larger supply of OCPs, although we have controlled for several factors associated with contraceptive continuation.</P>
Contraception – Elsevier
Published: Aug 1, 2010
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