193154 Pharmacy Provision of Emergency Contraception to Males: A Survey of Pharmacist Attitudes in Rhode Island, USA

Wednesday, November 11, 2009: 8:30 AM

Brian T. Nguyen, MA , Warren Alpert School of Medicine at Brown University, Providence, RI
Nickolas Zaller, PhD , Department of Immunology, Miriam Hospital, Providence, RI
Objective: In December 2006 the FDA revised its statement approving the over-the-counter sale of emergency contraception (EC) to include men above the age of 18 as possible buyers. However, cases of pharmacy refusal to sell to men still exist. As no studies have examined attitudes towards male EC access, this study describes pharmacy staff members' attitudes and practices related to male EC requests, as well as the occurrence of male purchases in Rhode Island.

Study design: Cross-sectional survey of Rhode Island pharmacy staff (n=226), utilizing a 21-item questionnaire on demographics, EC provision practices, recall of male EC purchases, and male EC access attitudes.

Results: Of 151 pharmacies surveyed, 91 responded, providing 226 individual pharmacy staff member surveys. Among this population, 95.6% had sold EC. Though 59.73% believed male EC purchases seldom occur, 63.3% sold EC to a man in the last year. Ten (4.4%) respondents refused sale to a man. Respondents were less likely to agree that males should always have access if they also believed that access would decrease regular contraceptive use (p=0.008) and if they could not verify the female recipient's consent (p<0.001).

Conclusions: Male EC purchases are more common than the majority of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians believe. Though the majority expressed personal reservations against providing to men, the majority still agreed that men should have access to EC. These findings suggest that pharmacies are an acceptable setting for male EC access and that refusal, while existent, may not be a barrier to male EC access.

Learning Objectives:
1) Define the population currently eligible for OTC purchase of emergency contraception in the US 2) Identify barriers to the purchase of emergency contraception 3) Discuss the role of men in reproductive health and family planning interventions, 4) Identify reasons the general public and pharmacy providers might be weary of providing EC to men. 5) Discuss interventions that would better integrate men into efforts to prevent unplanned pregnancy.

Keywords: Contraceptives, Male Reproductive Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a medical student concentrating in women's reproductive health and rights with completed research and activism involving access to emergency contraception.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.