The impact of pharmacy access to emergency contraceptive pills in France

Caroline Moreau, Natalie Bajos, James Trussell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: The objective of this study is to determine the impact of pharmacy access to emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs) on ECP use, risky sexual behavior and contraceptive use patterns in France. Methods: We analyzed the responses of women to heath surveys conducted in 1999 and 2004. Results: We found that increasing access to ECPs in France by introducing a dedicated product and by eliminating prescription requirement resulted in increased ECP use, with the vast majority of ECP users in 2004 having obtained ECPs directly from a pharmacy without a prescription. This increase in ECP access and use did not result in increased proportions of women who had ever had intercourse, or in a decrease in the age at first intercourse, or in an increase in the proportion of women at risk for unintended pregnancy. Among women at risk for unintended pregnancy, there was no decrease in the use of contraception and no decrease in the use of the most effective methods. Conclusion: Introducing a dedicated product and allowing direct pharmacy access to ECPs in France have resulted in greater ECP use, with no negative impact on sexual behavior or use of contraception.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)602-608
Number of pages7
JournalContraception
Volume73
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2006

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Keywords

  • Abortion
  • Contraception behavior
  • Emergency contraceptive pills
  • National survey
  • Pharmacy access

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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