Background: Pharmacists can play a critical role in the access to emergency contraception (EC). We assessed if knowledge and attitudes were predictive of EC dispensing among a statewide sample of Florida pharmacists, who have legal authority to refuse to dispense medications.
Study design: In 2008, surveys were mailed to a random sample of 1264 pharmacists registered with the Florida Board of Pharmacy. Data from 272 pharmacists (22% response rate) were analyzed using bivariate and multivariate logistic regression.
Results: Fifty-six percent of respondents incorrectly answered that EC causes birth defects, and 46% replied that it causes abortion. Only 22% said that EC can be purchased in advance of need. Many felt uncomfortable dispensing to adolescents (61%) and men (58%). Knowledge about EC was the most important predictor of dispensing [odds ratio (OR)=1.57, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.22-2.03]. In particular, pharmacists who reported that EC does not act as an abortifacient were more likely to dispense it (OR=4.64, 95% CI 2.15-10.00).
Conclusions: Correct information about EC was the most important predictor of pharmacists' dispensing EC. To expand availability of EC, pharmacists will have to become better informed.
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.