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Convenience drives US women to buy over-the-counter contraception in Mexico, study finds
Date:4/16/2010

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.


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Contact: Gary Susswein
susswein@austin.utexas.edu
512-471-4945
University of Texas at Austin
Source:Eurekalert

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