EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTIVES CONTINUE TO DIVIDE PHARMACY

Pharmacy Times, Volume 0,0

Although the pharmacyprofession remainsdeeply divided over theavailability of emergencycontraceptive (EC) products,pharmacists inNew Mexico appear tobe "generally supportive" of a 2003 statelaw that granted them prescriptiveauthority for ECs, according to a newstudy reported in the Journal of theAmerican Pharmacists Association.

More than 60% of the New Mexicopharmacists surveyed either "agreed"or "strongly agreed" with statementssupporting the prescribing of ECs bypharmacists. At the same time, however,30% opposed these drugs on religiousor moral grounds, and 17% saidthat ECs should be made available onlyin cases of rape or incest.

Although 4 of 10 pharmacists surveyedexpressed an interest in becomingcertified to prescribe ECs, theresearchers found that pharmacists inNew Mexico were not particularlyknowledgeable about these products.

According to the investigators, this"less-than-ideal level of knowledgeabout [ECs]" by some pharmacists andthe nonsupportive attitudes of othersraise a "substantial concern" about theviability of FDA proposals to permitOTC sales of ECs.