Confusion about emergency contraception access common

March 26, 2012
Confusion about emergency contraception access common

(HealthDay) -- While most pharmacies report having emergency contraception (EC) in stock, misinformation regarding what age women can take it without a prescription is common, according to a study published online March 26 in Pediatrics.

Tracey A. Wilkinson, M.D., M.P.H., of the Boston University School of Medicine, and colleagues utilized female callers posing as 17-year-old adolescents, or as physicians calling on behalf of 17-year-old patients, to call 943 pharmacies in five U.S. cities.

The researchers found that 759 pharmacies (80 percent) told adolescent callers, and 766 (81 percent) told physician callers, that EC was available on the day of the call. However, more pharmacies (19 percent) incorrectly told the adolescent callers that it would be impossible for them to obtain EC under any circumstances, compared with 3 percent of pharmacies making that claim to physician callers. Pharmacies conveyed the correct age for which they were allowed to dispense EC without a prescription in 431 adolescent calls (57 percent) and 466 physician calls (61 percent). Compared with physician callers, adolescent callers were put on hold more frequently (54 versus 26 percent) and spoke to self-identified pharmacists significantly less often (3 versus 12 percent).

"Most pharmacies report having EC in stock. However, regarding who can take EC, and at what age it is available without a prescription, is common," the authors write.

Explore further: Study shows pharmacies' software systems miss potentially dangerous interactions

More information: Abstract
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Big Data can save lives, says leading cancer expert

May 16, 2016

The sharing of genetic information from millions of cancer patients around the world could be key to revolutionising cancer prevention and care, according to a leading cancer expert from Queen's University Belfast.

New soap to ward off malaria carrying mosquitoes

May 13, 2016

(Medical Xpress)—Gérard Niyondiko along with colleagues Frank Langevin and Lisa Barutel has posted a project on the crowd source funding site ulule for a product called Faso Soap. They claim the soap can cut in half the ...

Smartphones uncover how the world sleeps

May 6, 2016

A pioneering study of worldwide sleep patterns combines math modeling, mobile apps and big data to parse the roles society and biology each play in setting sleep schedules.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.