This study was done to describe misoprostol availability, whether a prescription is required, and knowledge of the legal status of abortion and uses for misoprostol among pharmacy staff in Mexico City.
174 pharmacies in Mexico City provided the relevant data for the study. 1 employee at each pharmacy was asked about availability, need for a prescription, indications for misoprostol, and sociodemographic information. The outcome was the availability of misoprostol. We used descriptive and bivariate statistics to compare knowledge and practices by type of pharmacy and staff gender.
Out of the total included 174 pharmacies, 65 were a chain and 109 small independents. Misoprostol was available at 61% of sites. Only 49% of independent pharmacies sold misoprostol, compared with 81.5% of chain pharmacies. Knowledge of indications for misoprostol use was similar. The majority of respondents knew that abortion was legal in Mexico City.
The study concluded by outlining the factors resulting in differential access to medical abortion. Pharmacies may be a good place to target education for pharmacy staff and women about the safe and effective use of misoprostol for abortion.
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