Contraceptive counseling for iPLEDGE and its burden on dermatologists


Arch Dermatol Res. 2024 May 28;316(6):287. doi: 10.1007/s00403-024-03070-5.


Since 2006, iPLEDGE, a risk evaluation and mitigation strategy (REMS), has attempted to prevent fetal exposures in people taking isotretinoin through contraceptive requirements and regular pregnancy testing. There has been criticism of iPLEDGE’s requirements, results, and accessibility. iPLEDGE has placed significant burdens on physicians, patients, and administrative staff. Some level of burden is acceptable to prevent fetal exposures, but iPLEDGE burdens are so strenuous that physicians may choose not to prescribe isotretinoin because of them. There are several evidence-based adaptations that iPLEDGE and physicians can enact to improve the isotretinoin experience. First, physicians can practice shared-decision making in contraceptive counseling and educate patients on long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) to improve the counseling process and outcomes. Second, physicians can take advantage of the reimbursed iPLEDGE contraceptive counseling sessions and refer patients accordingly. Finally, iPLEDGE should recognize the variation in efficacy among contraceptives. Specifically, LARCs and permanent surgical sterilization should be exempt from certain iPLEDGE requirements such as monthly pregnancy testing and attestations. iPLEDGE should work with dermatologists for the continual improvement of iPLEDGE. Communication, repetitive reassessment, and subsequent adaptations will result in better care for patients requiring isotretinoin.

PMID:38805059 | DOI:10.1007/s00403-024-03070-5