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|The Emergency Contraception Newsletter|
Vol. 7, No. 2
ABOUT THIS NEWSLETTER:
This newsletter is prepared and distributed as a voluntary activity on behalf of the American Society for Emergency Contraception and the International Consortium for Emergency Contraception. It is distributed electronically twice each year to anyone wishing to receive it. To contribute a news item, please send it to AmSocEC@aol.com or to Tara Shochet (email@example.com). We reserve the right to check and edit items as appropriate. To add or remove your name from the newsletter circulation list, please write to AmSocEC@aol.com. More information about ASEC and the Consortium is located at the end of this newsletter.
Plan B sales double, Glamour poll shows strong support for Rx-to-OTC switch, WCC welcomes new staff member
Sales of Plan B (levonorgestrel) in 2002 have more than doubled in the U.S. and Canada compared with sales in 2001. The fastest growth has been in retail pharmacies, where sales have increased five-fold over last year and ten-fold in California where the statewide pharmacy access program rolled out on January 1. Between 2000 and 2002, Plan B's market share in retail pharmacies rose from 4% to 52%, although California and Washington State counted disproportionately for the increase. The growth in sales owes much to the continuing efforts by non-profit groups to raise awareness and lower barriers to access. Women's Capital Corporation (WCC) hopes the publicity around the submission of the Rx-to-OTC application early in 2003 will help boost awareness among both consumers and providers. A recent Glamour poll showed that 69% of readers thought Plan B should be sold over the counter. Approval in Canada could come as early as September. On November 19, Dr. Debbie Wilkerson, formerly of the Packard Foundation, joined WCC full time as Director of Scientific Affairs, with responsibility for coordinating the efforts of the half dozen organizations working on Plan B's OTC switch.
Sharon L. Camp, PhD
Women’s Capital Corporation
1990 M Street, NW, Suite 250
Washington, DC 20036
First Pre-Packaged Emergency Contraception Becomes Available in Australia
Postinor-2, a pre-packaged emergency contraception product, became available by prescription in Australia this past summer, becoming the first dedicated EC product in Australia. A spokesperson for Schering, the company that markets Postinor-2, said that the company has no intention of applying to Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration for non-prescription status.
Abstracted the Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Report(hyperlink to http://www.kaisernetwork.org/dailyreports/reproductivehealth), published for kaisernetwork.org (hyperlink to http://www.kaisernetwork.org), a free service of the Kaiser Family Foundation (hyperlink to http://www.kff.org), by National Journal Group Inc. © 2003 by National Journal Group Inc. and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.”
APPRENDE continues EC work
The Asociación Para la PRevención de Embarazos No Deseados Ecuatoriana (“APPRENDE”) began making EC available in July 2002. Since that time, the Ministry of Health has been working towards prohibiting the sale of POSTINOR-2 and other brands of EC pills, even though there may be as many as 1,000 illegal abortions performed daily. Despite the constant threat of a Ministerial resolution to this effect, APPRENDE’s weekly sales continue to grow at a rapid and steady pace. The Ministry’s public stance has caused pharmacies to require a prescription prior to dispensing EC even though other oral contraceptives are freely sold. Also, donor organizations, such as USAID, are now reluctant to support EC initiatives for fear of damaging their relations with the Toledo administration. Given both the restrictions attaching to the sale of EC that suppress sales and skittish, locally based donors, APPRENDE will require additional support from outside sources to maintain its activities during 2003. APPRENDE is part of the PROSALUD INTER-AMERICANA network.
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