So I was watching T.V this morning and a news story came on about a female actress who had asked her male partner to get her the morning after pill from the chemist as she was unable to that particular day. The chemist however wouldn’t sell the man the pill because he was male, and the medication was not for him. I’m just curious as to people thoughts on this, as I know women can get it for other women so why can’t a man get it for his partner? Especially when his type of pill has such a short time window to work effetively
While I wouldn’t really mind my partner picking it up for me, I think there is some logic to preventing men from accessing the medicine. When you say women can pick it up for their friend, can they do that? Or do they lie and say it’s for them to then give to their friends? I was under the impression you could only get it for yourself. @Nurse_Nettie do you have any info on this?
I feel like there are some issues that could arise. It’s important to be able to answer a pharmacist’s questions, and to remember medical information so I would say the person who is taking it should meet with the pharmacist. This would be particularly important as you would need to distinguish between side effects and something more serious. There would also, potentially, be the issue of coercison if the woman did not want to take it, but was made to.
That being said, I’ve tried to have a look online and it doesn’t seem as though there is a specific law prohibiting it. Perhaps it’s up to pharmacists, and whether they would be liable for administering it to someone who wouldn’t personally use it?
Yes, I’d like to hear what @Nurse_Nettie has to say. I know that you can’t pick up other people’s prescriptions (even if you have their Medicare card) without some sort of official ok from Medicare. This happened to me once when my partner was too sick to go and get the medication.
@Aunt_Flo I think you’ve outlined pretty well what the issues are 🙂 There is no law against a pharmacist dispensing ECP to a man, but they have a duty of care to ensure that Pharmacist Only medication is given appropriately. Their professional guidelines say they should speak with the person who will be taking the medication to identify any contraindications and ensure they understand how it works, including when they might need to test for pregnancy. They may also counsel about STI risk or sexual assault services if needed. The pharmacist may also have concerns that it could be given under pressure or force when someone asks for it on behalf of their partner.
At the same time, not dispensing to a partner may create an unnecessary barrier for a person in genuine need of ECP. If you find yourself in this situation, you might ask that the pharmacist call you to confirm you have the info you need. You can also always try another pharmacy for a second opinion. Ultimately though, it is up to the pharmacist to decide when to dispense or withhold any Pharmacist Only medication.
Do you think it is unfair though given that you can pick up other prescription medication for your partner, and still have the list of side effects, concerns etc. read out to them and not the actual person taking the medication?
I understand the benefits of it only being given to the person consuming the medication, but what happens if the person can not get there to get it?
I don’t know if it’s a given that you can pick up other medicine, though. If things like the morning after pill is up to the pharmacists discretion, surely other things like the pill, which have slightly more complicated instructions, would be given with similar discretion?
I don’t find it particularly unfair. I think that the time window (which with certain EC can be up to five days) is adequate enough without needing to allow someone else to collect the medication. Since it is a time sensitive issue, I imagine having a sick day, or leaving work early would enable people to get it.
I feel like this is a difference situation to most medicines, like antibiotics or painkillers. It’s such a personal thing, I think it’s fine to leave it to the person. Plus, there would be risks of leaving it to a partner if they were a newer partner, or if they were unaware of any other medicine the female was taking, any underlying health issues she may have and other things that pharmacists take into consideration when dispensing medicine and advice.
Also I would rather my partner not be able to get it than a woman’s partner have it and coerce her into taking it. It’s a tricky issue.
@Aunt_Flo, on the matter of picking up other people’s prescriptions… every prescription issued comes with a space for the signature of the “patient or agent”. As a diabetic (I mention that because I’m on restricted ‘authorisation only’ medication), I have sent my partner, whose surname I don’t share, to retrieve my prescription medication when I’ve run out.
I’m not sure whether I agree or disagree with you about restricting access to this medication.
There were some very important reasons why it was made a pharmacy medication, instead of prescription only. One of those being that a sick day or leaving work early to visit a doctor and/or a pharmacy isn’t realistic for everyone – especially not those casual or part-time workers paid by the hour (where sick leave may not be available, and if the budget is already tight leaving early might mean you can’t afford your rent or food this week).
There are arguments for both sides, and you’ve pointed out one very valid reason why some restrictions are reasonable. But as @Nurse_Nettie pointed out, you can always seek the opinion of another pharmacist, or frequent the same pharmacy regularly enough that they get to know you and your health history.
Oh, @MsBlueStreak I didn’t really know that.
I definitely think it should only be pharmacy rather than prescription – adding prescriptions adds another issue with accessibility. I’m not really sure where I stand overall. I think the emergency nature, and more ad hoc way it’s needed and prescribed makes it a bit different compared to picking up other, more regular medicines.
It’d be interesting to have information from pharmacists about what they perceive the issues to be when they prevent access to males.
I thought you could buy it online? Maybe I was mistaken 😮
I’m not sure @EggplantEmoji, I didn’t think you could. Does anyone else know?
I know with online pharmacies you definitely need prescriptions (I was looking to get my supplements fulfilled but my prescription is only at the place I go to – and where they sell the product) since you need to scan/email them in. I’m assuming that they wouldn’t sell it online since it could be violated or used for different reasons. I wonder if @Nurse_Nettie can fill us in on the standing with online pharmacies?
@NickiPower the Emergency Contraception Pill falls into a special category called Pharmacist Only Medication. You don’t need a prescription from a doctor, but you are required to consult a pharmacist before buying it. These are the medications you have to ask a pharmacist to get out for you. They are not freely available on the shelf.
Prescriptions medications that you get from a doctor are more closely regulated, but once you have the script you can use that script to buy the medicine at any pharmacy, including one online. Pharmacist Only Medication can’t be bought online because there’s no way to ensure you’ve discussed correct use with a pharmacist in advance. Does that make sense?
@Nurse_Nettie Is it true that you shouldn’t take the morning after pill more than a couple of times in a few months? I heard someone say that once but really didn’t think there would be a limit. I mean, it’s safe to use, so why would there be a limit like that?
@Kit No, it’s not true you can only take the morning after pill a couple times in a few months! It’s totally safe to take as needed (even multiple times in the same cycle — though expect very irregular bleeding).
But remember: it only protects against falling pregnant from the sex you had in the past 72 hours or so. It has zero ongoing effect! So it’s a pretty inefficient & expensive way to avoid pregnancy if you’re having unprotected sex frequently!