Commentary| Volume 98, ISSUE 5, P379-382, November 2018

Family planning provision in pharmacies and drug shops: an urgent prescription


      Drug shops and pharmacies have long been recognized as the first point of contact for health care in developing countries, including family planning (FP) services. Drug shop operators and pharmacists should not be viewed as mere merchants of short-acting contraceptive methods, as this ignores their capacity for increasing uptake of FP services and methods in a systematic and collaborative way with the public sector, social marketing groups and product distributors. We draw on lessons learned from the rich experience of earlier efforts to promote a variety of public health interventions in pharmacies and drug shops. To integrate this setting that provides convenience, confidentiality, access to user-controlled contraceptive methods (i.e., pills, condoms and potentially Sayana Press®) and a gateway to clinic-based FP services, we propose three promising practices that should be encouraged in future interventions to increase access to quality FP services.


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