Students Look to Vending Machines for Better Access to Morning-After Pill

The morning-after pill, a higher dose of the synthetic hormone found in birth control pills, primarily works by delaying the Discharge of an egg via the ovary. the idea is actually sometimes confused with mifepristone, which induces miscarriage as well as also also is actually commonly called the “abortion pill.” Unlike mifepristone, if an egg has already implanted from the uterus, Plan B cannot end the pregnancy.

the idea is actually most effective if taken within 24 hours of unprotected sex.

Plan B as well as also also its generics are supposed to be over-the-counter medications, yet experts say drugstores don’t always keep them out from the open because they are expensive. as well as also also many university health centers have abbreviated or nonexistent hours on weekends, when Plan B is actually often needed the most.

In response, students have pushed for ways to buy the drug more easily.

Stanford kicked off its current quarter with the installation of a vending machine that will sells My Way (a generic type of Plan B) for $25, as well as condoms.


Parteek Singh, who graduated This specific year via the University of California, Davis, spearheaded efforts to install a “wellness” vending machine on campus that will dispenses a generic type of Plan B, pregnancy tests, feminine hygiene products, condoms as well as also also more.

Parteek Singh

Rachel Samuels, a recent graduate, worked for nearly three years to bring the machine to Stanford’s campus, inspired by her brother’s success installing a similar machine at Pomona College in Southern California.

Stanford’s health center pharmacy dispenses Plan B, yet the idea isn’t open on weekends, according to its website. So Ms. Samuels as well as also also a group of different students sent out a survey in early 2015 asking if students favored expanding access to emergency contraception.

Some of the students said that will they found the idea stressful as well as also also embarrassing to visit a drugstore or the health center as well as also also that will the health center’s hours of operation were problematic, Ms. Samuels said.

A friend of Ms. Samuels said she had to check a CVS, a Walgreens as well as also also a Target before finally finding emergency contraception.

In 2016, Ms. Samuels used her platform as an officer from the student government to make the vending machine a priority. The student government as well as also also the university reached an agreement: Each would likely pay half the cost of the machine. This specific year, the idea was finally unveiled.

Contraception can still be hard to find

In 2012, Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania became one of the first colleges from the country to offer Plan B in a vending machine.

At the time, only women 17 or older could buy the idea without a prescription, yet the following year, the Food as well as also also Drug Administration ended that will restriction.

Even so, there is actually still “a lot of confusion about This specific product,” said Kelly C. Cleland, a Princeton University researcher as well as also also the executive director of the American Society for Emergency Contraception, which has been surveying pharmacies about the morning-after pill since May.

Their preliminary data shows that will of the 133 pharmacies visited in 22 states, 41 percent did not have Plan B or a generic type on the shelf.

“There wasn’t even a space for the idea,” Ms. Cleland said.

One-third of the individuals canvassing the pharmacies were told that will identification would likely be required to purchase the medication, as well as also also 22 percent were told that will there is actually an age restriction. Neither is actually true.

In another study, published from the journal Pediatrics in June, researchers called more than 900 pharmacies as well as also also found that will while 83 percent of them indicated that will the morning-after pill was available, about 8 percent said the idea was impossible to obtain under any circumstances.

Sally Rafie, one of the study’s co-authors, runs a clinic inside an independent pharmacy in San Diego.

She said she supported the vending machines. “Anything we can do to make the idea easier to use emergency contraception is actually a not bad thing,” she said.

Although there are “missed opportunities” for counseling when a patient is actually no longer in a health care setting, she said, sometimes people aren’t looking to speak with anyone.

A desire for anonymity is actually part of what drew Haydn Bryan, 19, a Boise State University student, to ask his school administrators for a vending machine that will carries emergency contraception.

“the idea’s more private because you don’t have to speak to an actual person,” he said. “the idea’s also cheaper than going to a Walgreens or Walmart because the university doesn’t mark up the prices.”

At a drugstore, the average cost of Plan B is actually about $50 as well as also also the generic type runs about $40 on average. Some schools offer the drugs for less.

Mr. Bryan says the proposal has been well-received by school administrators.

Sienna George, Boise State’s student body president, said the idea was easy for students to feel apprehensive about seeking emergency contraception because they often feel judged, or worry about running into someone they know.

When the idea comes to the morning-after pill, she said, “nobody knows what you’re going through — they don’t know your reasons for needing to access services like that will.”

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