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Contraception. 2003 Oct;68(4):261-7.

Pharmacists' knowledge and the difficulty of obtaining emergency contraception.

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University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, 675 Hoes Lane, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA.


This cross-sectional study was performed to examine knowledge and attitudes among pharmacists about emergency contraception (EC) and determine the factors associated with their provision of EC. A random systematic sampling method was used to obtain a sample (N = 320) of pharmacies in Pennsylvania. A "mystery shopper" telephone survey method was utilized. Only 35% of pharmacists stated that they would be able to fill a prescription for EC that day. Also, many community pharmacists do not have sufficient or accurate information about EC. In a logistic regression model, pharmacists' lack of information relates to the low proportion of pharmacists able to dispense it. In conclusion, access to EC from community pharmacists in Pennsylvania is severely limited. Interventions to improve timely access to EC involve increased education for pharmacists, as well as increased community request for these products as an incentive for pharmacists to stock them.

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