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ISSN: 2376-0419

Journal of Pharmaceutical Care & Health Systems
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Research Article

Availability and Provision of Abortifacients among Pharmacies in a Restricted Southeast Asian City

Kate Reiss*, Okkar Aung, Moe Moe Aung and Thoai D Ngo
Research, Monitoring and Evaluation Team, Health System Department, Marie Stopes International, London, UK
Corresponding Author : Kate Reiss
MSc Researcher, Research, Monitoring and Evaluation Team
Health System Department, Marie Stopes International
1 Conway Street, London, UK, W1T 6LP
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7034 2321
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7034 2372
Received September 15, 2014; Accepted October 09, 2014; Published October 12, 2014
Citation: Reiss K, Aung O, Aung MM, Ngo TD (2014) Availability and Provision of Abortifacients among Pharmacies in a Restricted Southeast Asian City. J Pharma Care Health Sys S1-005. doi:10.4172/2376-0419.S1-005
Copyright: 2014 Reiss K, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Objective: To explore the knowledge of abortion medications and abortion service provision practices among pharmacy workers in a restrictive country in Southeast Asia. Methods: Between June and July 2012, 170 pharmacy workers operating in the capital city were interviewed about their misoprostol and abortion knowledge and provision practices. To investigate actual provision practices, 193 pharmacies were subsequently visited by fieldworkers posing as abortion clients. After each visit, the ‘mystery clients’ used a standard form to record the information and services they were offered. Results: During interviews, 87.1% of pharmacy workers reported that they receive clients requesting abortion medications. One third (32.5%) of pharmacy workers had heard of misoprostol and 93.9% of these knew it was indicated for abortion. Only 1.8% of pharmacy workers reported that they offer abortion medications, however 49.2% offered medications to mystery clients. Just 9.3% offered misoprostol but none offered the WHO’s recommended regimen. Conclusion: Pharmacy workers in a restrictive capital city in Southeast Asia are providing medical abortion ineffectively and large differences exist between their reported and actual abortion provision practices. Interventions to increase pharmacy worker knowledge of misoprostol use for abortion could be an effective way to improve access to safer termination options.


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