EVALUATION OF PHARMACEUTICAL EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTIVE SERVICES IN POLAND
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Pharmacies are acknowledged to have a key role in the provision of health services, including emergency contraceptive services and under the right circumstances could meet the growing expectations for reproductive health education and consultations. Pharmaceutical emergency contraceptive service provided by pharmacists include ensuring the availability of required medicines, correct dispensing, providing comprehensive information, all of which requires not only consultations that are health-oriented and educational, but also providing the patient with an adequately private situation to talk with the pharmacist. Objectives: The aim of the paper is to evaluate pharmaceutical emergency contraceptive services provided in polish pharmacies. Material and methods: The observational study included 60 community pharmacies of different profiles located in Gdansk (Poland). Our method was to use “standardized (simulated) patients”. Results: The study revealed the low availability of emergency contraception in Gdańsk pharmacies. Pharmacy employees provided drug-related information in 51.6% of study’s visits. None of the pharmacies provided patients with educational information on reproductive health. Regarding the respecting of patients’ rights privacy and intimacy, overall, the pharmacies scored 4.41 on a five-point scale. Conclusions: Our study sought to identify both the developed and underdeveloped aspects of a comprehensive emergency contraceptive service. Pharmacy employees in the study provided patients with a narrow range of information on hormonal medications and they failed to include sexual health education in their work. The patient’s right to expect that intimacy and privacy will be respected during their consultation was met to a satisfactory degree.
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