Researchers did this study to assess pharmacy workers’ knowledge and provision of abortion information and methods in Kenya.

Researchers interviewed two hundred and thirty-five pharmacy workers about medical abortion services. We also used mystery clients, who made four hundred and one visits to pharmacies to collect first-hand abortion practices.

The majority of pharmacy workers had heard of misoprostol, but only 39.2% had heard of mifepristone. We found that pharmacy workers had limited knowledge of correct medical abortion regimens, side effects and complications, and the legal status of abortion drugs. 49.8% of pharmacy workers reported providing abortion information to clients, and 4.3% reported providing abortion methods. 75.2% of pharmacies referred to another provider, though 64.2% of pharmacies advised continuing their pregnancy. Pharmacy workers said that they were experiencing demand for abortion services from clients.

The study concluded that pharmacy workers are essential providers of information and referrals for women seeking an abortion. However, their medical abortion knowledge is limited. Training pharmacy workers on medical abortion may improve the quality of the information provided and access to safe abortion.