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Keywords:

  • access to care;
  • contraception;
  • pharmacy;
  • policy;
  • rural

Abstract

Purpose: Determine availability of emergency contraception (EC) at rural and urban pharmacies in Kansas.

Methods: A sample of 201 Kansas pharmacies was selected using a random integer generator. We measured ability to dispense EC within 24 hours and whether it was in stock at the time of the survey call. We examined EC availability based on geographic differences and pharmacy type.

Findings: Of the sample, 186 pharmacists agreed to be interviewed. Of these, 19% (n = 36) were unable to provide EC within 24 hours. There were essentially no differences in availability of EC between rural (75% could dispense in 24 hours) and urban pharmacies (85% could dispense in 24 hours) (P= .105). Corporate pharmacies were more likely to be able to provide EC within 24 hours compared to independent pharmacies (OR = 3.79, CI 1.71-8.43). Thirty-one percent (n = 57) of pharmacists did not carry EC at the time of the survey call. With this sample, urban pharmacies were more than twice as likely to report carrying EC compared to rural pharmacies (OR = 2.47, CI 1.31-4.68), and corporate pharmacies were also more likely to report carrying EC compared to independent pharmacies (OR = 7.77, CI 3.72-16.21).

Conclusions: In a sample of Kansas pharmacies, there were no differences between rural and urban pharmacies in 24-hour EC availability; however, there were differences in those who stocked EC at the time of the survey call. Corporate pharmacies were more likely to dispense EC within 24 hours and have it in stock compared to independent pharmacies, suggesting differences in availability of EC.