Science, Politics, and Over-the-Counter Emergency Contraception

Department of Internal Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, 333 Cedar St, I-456 SHM, PO Box 208008, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.
JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association (Impact Factor: 35.29). 12/2011; 307(4):365-6. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2011.1957
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: Background: There are no current studies on the opinions of obstetricians and gynaecologists in Germany about emergency contraception (or post-coital contraception, morning-after pill). The opinions of a large group of physicians were collected using of a questionnaire and compared with the results of an American survey (n = 1154). Methods: A two-part questionnaire was used - part 1: sociodemographic data, part 2: 4 scenarios to illustrate the possible advantages and disadvantages of free access to emergency contraception as well as 4 indications and situations for which emergency contraception can be prescribed. Results: The response rate was 91.7 % (165/180 questionnaires). 63.9 % (103/161) of the German responding physicians were of the opinion that women with access to emergency contraception experienced unwanted pregnancies less frequently than those without access. Merely 26.2 % of the responding physicians supported the prescription-free availability of emergency contraception in apothecaries. The German-American comparison ultimately revealed only a few major differences, e.g., in answers to the question whether or not access to emergency contraception could reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies (89 vs. 64 %). Conclusions: The high rejection rate of free access to emergency contraception of almost 70 % in our surveyed group supports the current position published by the German Society for Gynaecology and Obstetrics (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gynäkologie und Geburtshilfe) and the German Professional Union of Gynaecologists (deutscher Berufsverband der Frauenärzte). Since other medical organisations, e.g., WHO, supported the prescription-free access to levonorgestrel formulations as emergency contraception a few years ago, it would be interesting to ask a larger sample of German gynaecologists and obstetricians about their opinions on emergency contraception.
    Geburtshilfe und Frauenheilkunde 11/2012; 72(11):1004-1008. DOI:10.1055/s-0032-1327992 · 0.94 Impact Factor
  • Contraception 07/2013; 88(4). DOI:10.1016/j.contraception.2013.07.005 · 2.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose: Determine availability of emergency contraception (EC) at rural and urban pharmacies in Kansas. Methods: A sample of 201 Kansas pharmacies was selected using a random integer generator. We measured ability to dispense EC within 24 hours and whether it was in stock at the time of the survey call. We examined EC availability based on geographic differences and pharmacy type. Findings: Of the sample, 186 pharmacists agreed to be interviewed. Of these, 19% (n = 36) were unable to provide EC within 24 hours. There were essentially no differences in availability of EC between rural (75% could dispense in 24 hours) and urban pharmacies (85% could dispense in 24 hours) (P= .105). Corporate pharmacies were more likely to be able to provide EC within 24 hours compared to independent pharmacies (OR = 3.79, CI 1.71-8.43). Thirty-one percent (n = 57) of pharmacists did not carry EC at the time of the survey call. With this sample, urban pharmacies were more than twice as likely to report carrying EC compared to rural pharmacies (OR = 2.47, CI 1.31-4.68), and corporate pharmacies were also more likely to report carrying EC compared to independent pharmacies (OR = 7.77, CI 3.72-16.21). Conclusions: In a sample of Kansas pharmacies, there were no differences between rural and urban pharmacies in 24-hour EC availability; however, there were differences in those who stocked EC at the time of the survey call. Corporate pharmacies were more likely to dispense EC within 24 hours and have it in stock compared to independent pharmacies, suggesting differences in availability of EC.
    The Journal of Rural Health 12/2013; 29(1):113-8. DOI:10.1111/j.1748-0361.2012.00429.x · 1.45 Impact Factor
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