Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Women Can Obtain EC Faster at Pharmacies Than in Clinical settings, Study Shows

Via National Partnership for Women and Families Daily Report

A new study published in the journal, Contraception, shows pharmacies provide more rapid access to emergency contraception (EC) than clinical settings. ("Provision of Emergency Contraception: A Pilot Study Comparing Access Through Pharmacies and Clinical Settings," Black et al., Contraception, March 2008).

This study sought to compare the provision of emergency contraception through different health care settings, including community pharmacies, family planning clinics and general practices. Researchers also aimed to determine whether client satisfaction, and subsequent contraceptive use and sexual health outcomes vary significantly depending on where the services are provided....

Women who obtained the drug from pharmacies had more rapid access than those who went to family planning clinics and general medical practices. The rapid access available at community pharmacies is "potentially of great importance" because of findings from the World Health Organization that the sooner EC is taken after unprotected sex the more effective it is. However, other "aspects of provision and client satisfaction seem to favor attendance at a clinical setting over a pharmacy" for obtaining EC, they write, adding that women who "went to a clinical service described less discomfort and greater privacy."

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