Original research article| Volume 79, ISSUE 3, P206-210, March 2009

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Accuracy of information given by Los Angeles County pharmacies about emergency contraceptives to sham patient in need



      As emergency contraception (EC) becomes increasingly available without prescription, it is important that women in need be provided accurate information about its use.

      Study Design

      A telephone survey of all retail pharmacies in Los Angeles County was conducted by women posing as a 23-year-old who wanted to prevent pregnancy after an unprotected act of intercourse.


      One thousand four hundred sixty unduplicated pharmacies listed in the Yellow Pages 2007 were called between October 2007 and April 2008. Sixty-nine percent had EC available on site; 19% referred the caller elsewhere. The remainder said nothing could be done or hung up. Multiple calls and multiple recitations of the situation were needed in over one third of calls. Isolated incidents of inappropriate comments occurred.


      While most pharmacies provided information about EC that was consistent with labeling, barriers still exist to both accurate information and timely access to that product.


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