Pharmacists' knowledge and the difficulty of obtaining emergency contraception

Wendy Bennett, Carol Petraitis, Alicia D'Anella, Stephen Marcella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


This cross-sectional study was performed to examine knowledge and attitudes among pharmacists about emergency contraception (EC) and determine the factors associated with their provision of EC. A random systematic sampling method was used to obtain a sample (N = 320) of pharmacies in Pennsylvania. A "mystery shopper" telephone survey method was utilized. Only 35% of pharmacists stated that they would be able to fill a prescription for EC that day. Also, many community pharmacists do not have sufficient or accurate information about EC. In a logistic regression model, pharmacists' lack of information relates to the low proportion of pharmacists able to dispense it. In conclusion, access to EC from community pharmacists in Pennsylvania is severely limited. Interventions to improve timely access to EC involve increased education for pharmacists, as well as increased community request for these products as an incentive for pharmacists to stock them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-267
Number of pages7
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2003


  • Emergency contraception
  • Health care access
  • Pharmacist
  • Pregnancy prevention
  • Survey methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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