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Contraception. 2016 May;93(5):452-4. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2015.12.003. Epub 2015 Dec 12.

Pharmacy access to ulipristal acetate in Hawaii: is a prescription enough?

Author information

1
University of Hawai'i at Manoa, John A. Burns School of Medicine, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women's Health, 1319 Punahou St, Suite 824, Honolulu, HI 96826. Electronic address: bullockh@hawaii.edu.
2
University of Hawai'i at Manoa, John A. Burns School of Medicine, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women's Health, 1319 Punahou St, Suite 824, Honolulu, HI 96826.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine pharmacy availability of ulipristal acetate (UPA) and compare to availability of levonorgestrel-containing emergency contraceptive pills (LNG-ECPs).

METHODS:

We conducted an observational population-based study utilizing a telephone-based secret shopper methodology. Researchers called all 198 unique retail pharmacies in Hawaii on December 2013-June 2014, representing themselves as patients and physicians.

RESULTS:

Only 2.6% of pharmacies had UPA immediately available, though 22.8% reported ability to order UPA. In contrast, 82.4% reported immediate availability of LNG-ECPs. No significant difference in availability was reported to patients and physicians.

CONCLUSIONS:

Availability of UPA is limited and significantly lower compared to LNG-ECPs. The study period did overlap with a change in distributor for UPA, likely capturing some disruption of the supply chain.

IMPLICATIONS:

Systems-based interventions are needed to address barriers to obtaining UPA.

KEYWORDS:

Availability; Emergency contraception; Hawaii; Pharmacies; Ulipristal acetate; United States

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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