Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Convenience drives US women to buy over-the-counter contraception in Mexico, study finds

Date:
April 15, 2010
Source:
University of Texas at Austin
Summary:
Research conducted along the US-Mexico border suggests there is demand in the United States for over-the-counter birth control pills and that many US women would buy such contraception without a doctor's prescription if given the option.

American women who live along the U.S.-Mexico border frequently buy over-the-counter oral contraceptives from Mexican pharmacies because they don't need a prescription and can send a friend to pick up the pills, according to a study by researchers from two University of Texas campuses and Ibis Reproductive Health.

Related Articles


The research, conducted in the El Paso-Juarez area, suggests there is demand in the United States for over-the-counter birth control pills and that many U.S. women would buy such contraception without a doctor's prescription if given the option. The findings are being published in the American Journal of Public Health.

"The fact that many women in El Paso make use of the cross-border option suggests a substantial latent demand for an over-the-counter option at pharmacies in the United States," says lead author Joseph E. Potter, a professor in the Sociology Department and Population Research Center at The University of Texas at Austin.

"Since crossing the border can be time-consuming for many, a domestic over-the-counter option would provide even more convenience than the cross-border option that's available in El Paso."

The study's other authors are Kari White and Kristine Hopkins of The University of Texas at Austin, Jon Amastae of the University of Texas at El Paso, and Daniel Grossman of Ibis Reproductive Health, a non-profit research organization based in Cambridge, Mass., and Oakland, Calif.

Women are now required to get a prescription to obtain oral contraceptives in the U.S. But the high prevalence of unwanted pregnancy and mounting evidence about the safety of such pills have led some to call for an over-the-counter option.

Grossman, who also coordinates a group of researchers, clinicians and advocates exploring the feasibility of an over-the-counter option for pills in the U.S., says, "This study gives us a better idea of who might take advantage of the over-the-counter option if it were available in the U.S., and it suggests that it would appeal to a broad range of women."

As part of the study, researchers interviewed more than 1,000 El Paso women, about half of whom obtained their birth control pills across the border at Mexican pharmacies and half of whom went to U.S. clinics to get their pills.

Older women and those who were born and educated in Mexico were more likely to buy their pills in Mexican pharmacies. Women who received public assistance from such federal programs as Women, Infant and Children were more likely to go to the U.S. clinics.

Among both groups, most of the women said they believed the facility where they obtained the pills was cheaper and more convenient than the options on the other side of the border.

About 90 percent of the women who obtained oral contraceptives on the U.S. side say they trusted their clinic to give them good information (versus 46 percent of Mexican pharmacy consumers) and that they liked the other health services provided there.

Conversely, about 90 percent of the women who bought pills from the Mexican pharmacies said they wanted to bypass a doctor's prescription and be able to send family or friends to pick up the pills.

"Making oral contraceptives available over the counter in the U.S. would add another option for women who find the clinic inconvenient or inaccessible. Our research shows that some women highly value the services they receive at clinics, and it's important that they continue to have access to those services even if the pill goes over the counter," says Grossman.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Texas at Austin. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J. E. Potter, K. White, K. Hopkins, J. Amastae, D. Grossman. Clinic Versus Over-the-Counter Access to Oral Contraception: Choices Women Make Along the US-Mexico Border. American Journal of Public Health, 2010; DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2009.179887

Cite This Page:

University of Texas at Austin. "Convenience drives US women to buy over-the-counter contraception in Mexico, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100415161935.htm>.
University of Texas at Austin. (2010, April 15). Convenience drives US women to buy over-the-counter contraception in Mexico, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100415161935.htm
University of Texas at Austin. "Convenience drives US women to buy over-the-counter contraception in Mexico, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100415161935.htm (accessed March 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Washington Post (Mar. 30, 2015) — Denisa Livingston, a health advocate for the Dinι Community Advocacy Alliance, and the Post&apos;s Abby Phillip discuss efforts around the country to make unhealthy food choices hurt your wallet as much as your waistline. Video provided by Washington Post
Powered by NewsLook.com
UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 30, 2015) — The $12.8 billion merger will combine the U.S.&apos; third and fourth largest pharmacy benefit managers. Analysts say smaller PBMs could also merge. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

AFP (Mar. 28, 2015) — Sierra Leone imposed a three-day nationwide lockdown Friday for the second time in six months in a bid to prevent a resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus. Duration: 01:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) — A popular class of antibiotic can leave patients in severe pain and even result in permanent nerve damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins