Study: Pharmacies Lie To Teens About Legal Age To Get Emergency Contraception

It’s legal for 17-year-olds to go to the pharmacy and buy emergency contraception like Plan B, but that isn’t stopping pharmacy workers from lying to teens and telling them they’re too young for it, says an undercover survey included in a new study.

MSNBC says a report in the journal Pediatrics found that pharmacists would lie to girls seeking emergency contraception, but then proffer the correct information when a doctor called about obtaining the drug for a 17-year-old patient.

The study’s lead author, Dr. Tracey Wilkinson, says she thinks once teens are told they can’t get the medication, they won’t call another pharmacy and will instead just give up. Proponents of products like Plan B think emergency contraception could help prevent half of all unplanned teen pregnancies.

The study sought to assess the availability of Plan B and others, which can be purchased by women (and men, for that matter) 17 and over without a prescription. Researchers posed as either teens or doctors, and called every pharmacy in five U.S. cities asking about emergency contraception.

When asked whether a pharmacy had the medication in stock, 80% of 943 said they did. If a researcher posing as a teen asked if she could get it, 19% were told no, not under any circumstances. Those acting as doctors were only told no 3% of the time.

Teen callers who were told they could get it asked: “My friends said there is an age rule [regarding access without a prescription] — do you know what it is?” and pharmacy employees answered incorrectly 43% of the time. Teens spoke more often to lower level pharmacy employees, whereas doctors usuall got actual pharmacists on the phone.

The study’s lead researcher says she hopes it will raise awareness about misinformation being provided to teens, saying, “This was disappointing. I hope this study will instigate some sort of change on all fronts, for teenagers, pharmacists, staff and also clinicians.”

Pharmacies deter teens from Plan B, study shows [MSNBC]

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  1. Cat says:

    At least I’m not the only one to lie to teens about legal age to get…

    Never mind.

  2. Nick1693 says:

    It’s most likely the teens were talking to a pharmacy technician instead of an actual pharmacist.

    A pharmacist went to college for this, a pharmacy tech could be certified in a week.

    • crispyduck13 says:

      That doesn’t excuse anything. If the tech doesn’t know, they need to ask the pharmacist instead of just making shit up.

      43%, with as much publicity as this drug has received since being approved for OTC I can’t believe that number is that high.

      • nbs2 says:

        Yes and no. Sure, they should know what the age is, but it hardly sounds like a nefarious plot. Rather, the big surprise is that retail employees are lazy.

        I’d be curious to know what the training requirements are in each of those cities – I worked as a pharm tech in HS, and my training was pretty much on the job. If I knew I didn’t know the answer I would have asked. If I remembered the wrong answer, thinking it was the right one, I would have given it. And I wasn’t lazy – I knew slacking off could mean working the retail area with the proles.

        • crispyduck13 says:

          43%. 43% of the time, young women are getting this incorrect answer. How many unplanned teenage pregnancies could have been prevented if this was more like 10%?

          You act like it’s somehow less of a big deal because maybe they weren’t giving out incorrect information on purpose. It’s a travesty no matter what reason is behind it.

          • nbs2 says:

            I’m not saying that the misinformation isn’t a big deal – I’m just saying that the issue is one that goes more towards the problem of lazy employees that don’t care if they have correct information. What that does excuse is the pharmacy that struggles as much as any other employer to find employees who give a crap. It isn’t an effort on the part of fundamentalists or bigots or something else – just a struggle to hire the people that will do their jobs. The difference between phone calls and in person (or a filled prescription) is that the pharmacist can hear the entire conversation and correct it. This is too much of a crapshoot.

            It’s not different, on paper, from the Walmart employee that tells you that toilet paper is in household goods when it is really in the grocery section. Yes, I know the outcome is more significant.

            • RvLeshrac says:

              The employees should be fired, and have any credentials *irrevocably* pulled. There’s absolutely no excuse for this. You’re talking about people who are dispensing medicine, and you want to talk about how everything is OK because they’re just lazy? What the fuck.

              • nbs2 says:

                What I’m trying to say is that firing them isn’t going to make any difference. The problem appears to be symptomatic of employee laziness, not pharmecuetical malice. Does the laziness need to be fixed (either through training or some sort of heavy duty hiring procecss)? Of course. My point is that the numbers suggest that the misinformation has little to do with an innate desire to withhold medication that someone is legally entitled to purchase.

                As an aside, I find your irrevocable decertification to be intriguing. Tell me, do you believe that recidivisim is inevitible in all cases, or only those that spark your moral outrage?

    • StarfishDiva says:
      • AustinTXProgrammer says:

        That doesn’t appear to be the entry level spot. It requires 1000 hours of experience as a technician working under a licensed pharmacist. There is either a lower level position or they don’t allow new people into the field.

  3. Ben says:

    This is a disgrace.

  4. alliebeth says:

    As a future pharmacist, this saddens me. I know there are some techs and pharmacists who will not dispense EC or sometimes even regular BC, but flat out lying that they can’t get it because of age or some other reason is just wrong. I have a feeling that some of these pharmacies would not provide it based on conscience-clause-related issue, but if so that’s what they should have said and directed the patient to a location that would be able to help them.

    • Ben says:

      Well, the pharmacies that refuse to give out emergency contraception or the pill are already lying when they call themselves pharmacies!

      • chefboyardee says:

        well said.

      • alliebeth says:

        A case has been made for a conscience clause for physicians and nurses, so pharmacists fall under the same umbrella. Nobody, even a health care practitioner, should be forced to do something they find morally wrong. However, they DO need to be required to direct the patient to somebody/location that will be able to help them. We really do need that conscience clause, but it should be stated, not lied about, to the patient why they won’t dispense to them.

        • nishioka says:

          > Nobody, even a health care practitioner, should be forced to do something they find morally wrong.

          You’re in the wrong fucking field if you get into medicine and decide not to practice it on people who need your help because you find it “morally wrong”. Do not use the needs of others as your platform for disseminating your beliefs. My .02.

          • RvLeshrac says:

            Absolutely. What happens when you live in a religious town where no one is willing to provide any of the necessary care for a condition because their religious beliefs prohibit it? I’m thinking half of Utah, Clearwater, and most of the South.

          • alliebeth says:

            I agree with you – if you get into the medical field, you shouldn’t let your beliefs compromise the care you give to your patients. I know I won’t. For example, I feel morally that abortion is wrong, but I have filled Rxs for misoprostol many times without flinching, knowing exactly what it is being used for.

            BUT, other people believe otherwise and they have a right to do so. Medical professionals are not machines. It TRULY troubles some people to dispense certain medications, whether it be EC, BC or a fatal dose of sedatives meant to act as physician assisted suicide. Some would consider dispensing these medications as “doing harm”, as somebody brought up the Hippocratic oath in another comment.

        • Nunov Yerbizness says:

          Pharmacists are licensed by states. They are the enforcement, or gatekeepers, of state and federal regulations that cover prescription medications and controlled substances. They are just like cops in that respect.

          Cops are not allowed to choose which laws they’ll enforce, or choose to ignore the enforcement of laws they don’t personally like. (Some do, of course, but we have a name for them: “bad cops who should have their asses fired.”)

          Pharmacists do not get to choose which part of state and federal drug laws they’ll obey. They don’t get to choose which doctor’s prescriptions they’ll honor and which they won’t. This is tantamount to practicing medicine, which they’re not licensed to do.

          There is no such thing as a conscience opt-out for a licensed enforcer of state and federal laws. Nope. Uh-uh. Sorry.

          • alliebeth says:

            Denying to fill a prescription is not breaking the law, unless it is based on discrimination. Pharmacists ARE the gatekeepers to drugs and enforcers of laws, but they are human beings also. They still have to be able to live with themselves at the end of the day and some people would not be able to sleep at night if they dispensed EC. It has already been established that doctors can refuse to perform procedures they are morally opposed to, such as abortions, so why should pharmacists, who are JUST as educated and a medical professional, be forced to give out prescriptions they are morally opposed to?

            The law does not require a pharmacist to give EC for those 17 and over, or fill ANY prescription for that matter. It simply makes it LEGAL for those 17 and over to obtain the drug without a prescription.

          • P=mv says:

            I second that.

        • bluline says:

          Would a bar hire a bartender who refused to serve alcohol? Of course not. So why shouldn’t a pharmacy be able to reject a pharmacist who refuses to dispense the legal products that the pharmacy sells? It makes no sense.

      • Kuri says:

        They treat the Hippocratic oath as a Hippocratic suggestion

  5. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    If the lying is due to a moral stance, then they shouldn’t have the job.

    If I was a emergency room surgeon, but I felt that there was a moral reason not to remove an inflamed appendix, should I still be allowed to be a surgeon?

    If they can’t do their job properly, to it’s full description, and without bias, they shouldn’t have the job.

    • crispyduck13 says:

      Lying for whatever reason should result in immediate termination, conscience clause included. Just because you have the right in your state to invoke that protection doesn’t mean you can lie to a customer about medication, there’s no way that would not go against the policies of the store where they work.

      If you’re going to let a conscience clause get you out of doing your job at least have the balls to admit to it.

    • Conformist138 says:

      There is something ironic about people who lie to prevent other people from being immoral (in their eyes).

    • AtlantaCPA says:

      Since you bring up the surgeon, that makes me wonder: if I were a christian scientist who became a surgeon (not that they would but bear with me), can I then refuse to operate on anyone because it’s against my personal religious beliefs. To be a fair comparison I have to make sure that they think no one else will operate on them either so they have to just suffer with their malady.

      Isn’t this whole ‘pharmacists can refuse to give some drugs if they want to’ kind of in the same vein?

    • Difdi says:

      I bet any “moral” stance would fade rather quickly, if teenage mothers start suing lying pharmacists for child support for the kids that would never have been born without that “moral” stance.

  6. Hi_Hello says:

    wait… no prescription to get plan b…but you need one for birth control pills …

    I’m the only one who see that there is something wrong?

    why not same method to get either one?

    • crispyduck13 says:

      How about you go educate yourself on the subject before posting such broad questions on here?

    • theduckay says:

      Yes, I see something wrong. Neither one should have a prescription.

      Or did you mean that both should? Yea, because a 17 year old who needs emergency contraception has time to obtain and fill a prescription from a Dr. (if they even have one) in the short time frame that it has to be taken in to be effective. That makes sense.

      • Hi_Hello says:

        I”m with the neither one should require a prescription but I didn’t want to be bias.

        I’m curious to see why is one different than the other that would require this kind of seperation

        from what I understand, Plan B has the same chemical as birth control pills but in a much higher dosage. Base on pain medicine, I always thought anything with a higher dosage needs a prescription, anything lower you can get over the counter.

        and how they come up with 17 yrs old as the age 0-o.

      • Tiffymonster says:

        Birth control pills are a lot more complicated. There are different types of pills with different levels of various hormones in them. Some are contraindicated for smokers or people over a certain age or people who suffer from certain conditions. While I would probably be fine with a pharmacist (the drug experts) going over the details with someone and deciding what pill would be best for them, it would be similar to allowing pharmacists prescribing rights which is a hot button issue. Our pharmacies are also not set up to have pharmacists see patients and get long, often detailed and complex medical histories from them. As it stands its best to have birth control pills (which, again, isnt a single brand or type of pill) offered via prescription and emergency contraceptive, as far as I am concerned, available to anyone of any age.

    • Cantras says:

      Basically because EC is, well, an emergency. With birth control, the assumption is you’re going to be regularly taking it and also are/plan to be sexually active. So since a woman should have her woman-bits checked up on regularly, and new partners are a good reason to get them checked on, it’s basically ideal timing. Make sure there’s nothing wrong to start with. After that some doctors will let you just renew it for 2-3 years (At which point you’re due for another checkup anyhow).

      So it’s not so much “you need an exam to get birthcontrol” as “you need exams, and you want pills for the part we’re examining, so let’s fold that together.”

      Girl I knew was buying BC from a friend of hers (because this friend had been getting Depo privately, but Mom dragged her in to get the Pill when Mom found out she was having sex). Nothing bad happened, thankfully, but she asked *me* a lot of questions that probably should have gone to someone with an actual education about these things.

      Both being behind the counter with a “yes I know how they work” would be fairly reasonable, IMO.

      • Hi_Hello says:

        female body sure is complicated. We would just go to the nurses office to get some free condoms.

        they should talk about this at health class in h.s.

        I remember the girls having a special assembly in 5th grade..but I figure that was about tampons…maybe it was about this…

    • LanMan04 says:

      Normal birth control is a long-term maintenance med (take every day) that can have long-term effects on your health. High blood pressure, etc.

      You take ONE Plan B pill once. Sure, if you took one every day for some crazy reason (and at $40/pop?), you’d have issues. But take half a bottle off just about anything OTC at the pharmacy and you’ll be sick/dead.

      Plus, there’s no time to wait for a script with Plan B. You need to take it ASAP. And if there’s no major danger to taking it (just like a million other OTC meds), then why should it be prescription? Because it’s controversial?

    • The_IT_Crone says:

      So do you also think people should wait for an available appointment in the ER? Or does the word “EMERGENCY” escape you?

  7. pegasi says:

    No employer, pharmacy, or other entity has any place in telling someone that they cannot choose to either take birth control pills or to take “emergency contraception” to avoid an unwanted pregnancy. what’s next? locking up a woman who gets accidentally preggers and doesn’t want to be so, to force her to complete the pregnancy? – um no thanks – we don’t live in that kind of world. Besides – when they can offer FREE drugs to men to help them get it on (and not because their intent is to procreate)… why won’t they offer the same to women who do not want to be a parent!

  8. elephant says:

    Can you misleading article title? The study doesn’t say the pharmacies lied.

    Yes, there was misinformation – way too much misinformation. One possible explanation given in the study was that doctors spoke to pharmacists who were more likely to give the correct age limit info, while teens tended to speak with pharmacy techs who gave more incorrect info than the pharmacists. Still not okay of course, but the study didn’t say people lied. Definitely showed that pharmacies need to have better knowledge of the age guidelines.

    • ARP says:

      If the doctors get the correct answer a vast majority of the time, someone is lying or the pharmacy techs are borderline incompetent. Either way, it’s very bad.

    • LanMan04 says:

      How do you know their motives? The end result is the same: untrue info given to inquirers that could drastically change their lives for the worse…

      • elephant says:

        I don’t know their motives – that’s kind of the point of what I’m saying – It’s a stretch to say people are lying. Really, I think it’s mostly incompetence which is why pharmacists gave more accurate info than techs. I’m not saying nobody lied – just that that’s a serious conclusion to jump to. I like to think there are more dumb than dishonest people in the world :)

    • P=mv says:

      when misinformation is given it is a lie, whether that knew it or not. The effect was still the same.

  9. dulcinea47 says:

    I would be really curious to know how many of the “lower level pharmacy employees” just didn’t know what they were talking about as opposed to how many were actively “lying”. I’m guessing it’s the former, not the latter. Not that that makes it okay but instead of proving that people are morally opposed to teenagers having birth control access (or something) it just proves that people are dumbsh-ts.

    • Conformist138 says:

      I’m trying to decide which is worse for the industry:
      Something is wrong with the job (under training or lack of easy to access up-to-date information)
      or
      Something is wrong with the techs themselves (religious zealots with a warped sense of right and wrong).

  10. TheMansfieldMauler says:

    I wonder how much this has to do with Plan B and how much has to do with just general ignorance. Unfortunately I don’t know if there’s another drug out there that isn’t birth control that could be tested under the same circumstances (available to 17-year olds).

    There isn’t any way to know if this was pharmacy employees being against Plan B or pharmacy employees just giving the answer that sounds right even though they really don’t know – kind of like driving instructors who will say some maneuver is illegal just because it sounds like it might be.

    • ARP says:

      What makes it suspicious is that Doctors tend to get the right answer the vast majority of the time. So either the pharmacy is lying or they’re employing incompetent techs (assuming that the doctor will talk to an actual pharmacist and not a tech).

  11. j2.718ff says:

    I want to know why 3% of doctors were told they couldn’t get it. (I’m assuming most doctors are older than 17)

    • samonela says:

      They were probably said they were trying to get it for a minor.

    • Tim says:

      I wonder what answer Doogie Howser got.

    • RedOryx says:

      That 3% could just be complete misinformation on the part of the person who answered. Not out right lying, just not knowing the correct answer.

      • crispyduck13 says:

        Not knowing the correct answer and yet answering anyway…not the end of the world unless you’re the 17 year old on the other end of that phone call.

        It’s just as bad as lying.

        • RedOryx says:

          No, I agree. If they dont’ know the answer for sure they shouldn’t have answered.

          • j2.718ff says:

            ESPECIALLY in the health care industry. What you tell me can hugely affect my life. If you don’t know the answer, please say so, and I’ll find someone who does. (And I assure you, I won’t lose any respect for you just because you don’t know everything.)

        • OccasionallyOpinionated says:

          The could have just been confused and thought they knew the answer, but were wrong.

    • erinpac says:

      The part in the article before from that quoted paragraph made it more clear:

      “All callers asked questions from a script. The first question was whether the pharmacy had the medication in stock — 80 percent of the 943 pharmacies said they did. Next, the researcher posing as a teen asked if she could get the drug, while the researcher posing as the doctor of a 17-year-old patient asked if the patient could get the medication.

      There was a huge disparity between the answers given to the teens and those offered to the physicians, with 19 percent of the 17-year-olds being told that they couldn‚Äôt get it under any circumstances, compared with only 3 percent of the physicians.”

      So the doctors asked if a *17 year old patient* could get the medication.

  12. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    Not related, but I have the biggest crush on my pharmacy tech, but she knows all my weaknesses. :(

  13. Tom the Nice Adman says:

    Any pharmacist who does that should lose his or her license. Any pharmacy employee who does it should lose their job.

  14. Conformist138 says:

    Why are so many pharmacists and pharmacy techs against birth control? Plan-B isn’t the abortion pill, so it really shouldn’t be much more controversial than the pill (love how, of all pills in medicine, birth control ended up as “THE pill”).

    I don’t hear about vegan fast food workers crying about being forced to serve people beef. If you feel your religion allows you to lie to people in the course of your work in order to make them live by your standards, stay out of medicine, law, politics, and basically anything important. Actually, just stay out of the way entirely.

  15. mikeMD says:

    I don’t think it’s clear from this post’s title but I believe there something worth clarifying. The research did not draw conclusions as to whether pharmacy staff were passing incorrect information versus lying. Using the word lie does imply an act of deliberate deception (which may or may not be behind that 1 in 5 that gave bad information) but it’s not actually a finding from the research.

    Granted, the end result is exactly the same and the staff needs to have correct information – that is not a matter of debate. I just see some needless sensationalizing here. I also suspect that some of the difference between the calls where the researcher posed as a doctor implies that the pharmacy tech may have run the question by the supervising pharmacist or another staff member before answering, raising the possibiliy of getting it correct.

    I believe this study will raise awareness of the issue and help remove access barriers. And I have quizzed the staff in my pharmacy.

    • ronbo97 says:

      Yes, the thrust is to raise awareness. The mention of lying comes from the responses here, not the article.

      ‘The study’s lead researcher says she hopes it will raise awareness about misinformation being provided to teens, saying, “This was disappointing. I hope this study will instigate some sort of change on all fronts, for teenagers, pharmacists, staff and also clinicians.” ‘

      • mikeMD says:

        Thanks, but I am not a pharmacist. I am a primary care doctor, whose practice includes all ages. When I say “my pharmacy” I meant the one 99% of my prescriptions get filled at since it’s in the building.

        And I think some of the strongly worded comments are a response to the title of the post making that implication.

    • crispyduck13 says:

      I’m glad we still have pharmacists like you around.

    • Kuri says:

      We can hope that those who don’t have the information get it and that those who are outright lying get terminated and blacklisted.

    • nishioka says:

      > I also suspect that some of the difference between the calls where the researcher posed as a doctor implies that the pharmacy tech may have run the question by the supervising pharmacist or another staff member before answering, raising the possibiliy of getting it correct.

      That is what seems to be the case here.

      TFA:
      “Teens spoke more often to lower level pharmacy employees, whereas doctors usuall got actual pharmacists on the phone.”

  16. Kuri says:

    I’m kind of wondering which ones just didn’t know and made it up, and which ones were outright lying to prevent contraceptive medication from being sold.

    Either one is bad, but I’m just wondering.

  17. thomwithanh says:

    My ex had to buy it once, and she was asked for ID to make sure she “was over 21″

  18. Lt. Coke says:

    A friend of mine attempted to get plan B at one point. She was 16; she called and asked if her boyfriend (18) could get it for her. They proudly declared that he could not.

    I was pretty enraged when I found out about it later. Lying for Jesus is still lying, you self-righteous motherfuckers.

  19. SteveHolt says:

    Not old enough to take Plan B, but yeah go ahead and have that baby.

    Argh.

  20. RayanneGraff says:

    So… they WANT young girls to get pregnant then?

    Never, ever will I understand the mindset of the religious.

  21. HogwartsProfessor says:

    You know what can help prevent teen pregnancy?

    SEX EDUCATION. Not abstinence education, not lying to them, not refusing to discuss something with them that a bunch of them will do anyway. Knowledge is power.

  22. Phexerian says:

    Pharmacist here.

    The study is somewhat topical. They don’t infer if the person they were talking to was a pharmacy technician or a pharmacist. They also don’t infer why they were told they couldn’t get EC. This could be because the pharmacy did not have in stock at the time, or because the pharmacist didn’t believe in selling it. Pharmacies do run out of EC quite a lot. It just depends on which weekend everyone decides to hump like rabbits (usually spring break and high school prom).

    I don’t think pharmacist’s or technicians should refuse to sell Plan-B based on religious or moral grounds. I feel that a health care provider is pushing their religious or moral beliefs onto the patient.

    Technicians should definitely not be answering those questions unless they have been allowed by the pharmacist to answer them. I allow my technician to answer that question because he/she knows the correct answer to it.

    If the researchers really wanted to conduct a good study, they should always spoken to the pharmacist as it is the pharmacists final decision who gets what from the pharmacy. At the very least, they could have denoted %s of technicians and pharmacists for each answer.

    I also find it interesting that they picked the age of 17. EC is available for 17 and older though I am sure many pharmacists believe that they can’t sell EC to “patients aged 17 or younger”. I think the results would be very different had the researchers picked age 18 rather than 17. However, I do understand the importance of using age 17 in the study as to test the understanding of the legalities of selling it.

    I have refused EC to patient’s before, but not for religious or moral reasons. I have for a while now lowered my requirements for selling it as I am tired of dealing with it. The rule is if the female is under the age of 17 you need a script. 90% of the time it’s the boyfriend coming into the store to get it. Guess what? I don’t know how old the girl is so I used to refuse it. Even though the FDA guidelines said I could legally sell it to a guy I still refused it. For all I know, he was getting it for his 11 year old sister for which I could be held liable should something happen. I got tired of dealing with it after 3 months so now I just dispense it like candy as long as the buyer is over 17.

    Pharmacists in most states have the right to refuse to sell anything in their pharmacy. In my state, inside the pharmacy, I am God. What I say, goes. We are the doctors that run the pharmacy. Yes, most pharmacists are doctors (PharmD degree). The pharmacy is a medical facility that we operate. It is my license and I decide what is sold and not sold, whether that be EC, narcotics, or syringes. Do you know how many people complain about me not selling syringes? Too many.

    (Currently, to buy syringes at my pharmacy you must either bring in a current insulin bottle or get insulin actively at my pharmacy or pharmacy chain. Telling me what insulin you use and how many units does not cut it anymore. I’ve found too many used and exposed syringes on the bathroom floor from dopers. Besides we send them to the next local pharmacy who dispenses them like candy.)

    Off of my soapbox now. So sorry.

    The think the study should have defined more clearly who they were speaking too. It would have been nice to have a more accurate display of what % of pharmacist’s are not dispesding EC and the reason why they weren’t.

    • Lt. Coke says:

      I think the authors of the study did it right – when a 17 year old girl calls the morning after the condom broke, she’s not going to ask if she’s speaking to a pharmacist, so why should the authors? The first point of contact isn’t giving the correct information to eligible patient almost half (!!) of the time! That’s a big problem!

    • BennieHannah says:

      I believe the law is that anyone 17 or older (male or female) can buy Plan B. It isn’t your job — AS GOD! — to make a judgement about who will be taking the medication. Plan B medication is a safe and effective drug with very limited side effects. It should be OTC, and I hope it will be very soon so that a GODLIKE pharmacist will not be able to decide.

      • Phexerian says:

        Actually it is our job to decide who is taking the medication. Do I turn a blind eye to people who I can prove are selling their narcotics to others? I should let them do it? It’s not about judging patients in my pharmacy. It’s about protecting my license and my livelihood. It’s about not doing anything illegal and protecting my employer as well. And yes, in my pharmacy, I am God. I am the final boss about what happens. Just like a judge in his court room and just like a physician in his medical practice.

        BTW, Plan B will probably never be OTC. It will most likely stay Behind the counter.

        BTW, pull the stick out of your asshole.

        • pythonspam says:

          “It’s not about judging patients in my pharmacy.”
          Ah, but it is. If a 17-year-old of either gender came to your pharmacy, you would consider denying the medication if you thought it MIGHT be given to someone younger.
          What if a 25-year-old woman with a wedding ring asked for it? Or a 40 year old woman with the tan-line from a recently removed wedding ring? Or a 60 year old man?
          How can you know that any of these people won’t give the medicine to someone under 17? You can’t.

          You are not God, but you are playing God. There are rules and regulations imposed by federal and state governments. There are rules and regulations imposed by the business that employs you. You have to follow those rules.

          Do I think you or your pharmacy should be able to not sell Plan B due to conscience or moral reasons? Maybe. But if you sell them to anybody, you should sell them to everyone within the confines of the law.

          • Phexerian says:

            As long as the women buying it are over 17, they can get it. If the guy buying it can’t show me proof of the female being over age the of 17, he can’t have it. That used to be my rule. Yes there are rules I must follow in the pharmacy pertaining to federal and state laws, and I follow them. Federal or state law does not prohibit me from deciding who does and does not get plan B.

  23. BennieHannah says:

    I’ve had to buy Plan B on three occasions — I purchased it for my 18-year-old daughter once, and then sent both children off to college with a Plan B packet because I’m not ready to be a MeMaw. My advice, CALL AHEAD. Some pharmacies are “out” as in always out, like, they don’t carry it but aren’t willing to go on record as being judgey asshats who play games with the future health and well being of others. I now avoid those pharmacies who gave me the runaround, and give business to those that gave me accurate information about the availability of the product and supplied it with professional cheer.

    • travel_nut says:

      That’s awesome of you.

      My husband keeps condoms for his 18-year-old cousin, because cousin’s mom would go absolutely ballistic if she found them. We’d rather make sure cousin has condoms no matter what it takes than see him wind up with a pregnant girlfriend.

      One of the reasons teen pregnancy is so prevalent–in my experience, anyway–is because many parents expect 100% abstinence and refuse to prepare their kids for anything less.

  24. btrthnnothing says:

    I had this problem before when trying to get EC when I was still 17. There seemed to be this disconnect between the generic EC and the brand-name Plan B. I don’t know if it was just couple of CVS pharmacies that I went to, but they all only stocked the generic EC that doesn’t have any indicator on the box about whether it can be sold to 17 and below. I pressed the pharm. tech to ring it up anyway and the computer said it could only be sold to 18+ so I don’t know what’s going on there. However, when I went to a Walgreens that did stock the brand-name Plan B, they had no problem selling it to me. So strange.

    • btrthnnothing says:

      I realize that there could be a difference between CVS and Walgreens. But I also went to a Walgreens that did refuse to sell it to me, telling me I had to be 18+ or get a prescription, and then went on to tell me that there’s a doctor’s office right down the block. I ended up going to 6 different pharmacies before arriving at the Walgreens that did sell it to me.

  25. Naked-Gord-Program says:

    Simple solution : We gotta put all this stuff in vending machines.

  26. travel_nut says:

    What, because the alternative–pregnant 17-year-olds–is somehow better?

    I got Plan B once when I was 17 and stupid. Thank God.

  27. Difdi says:

    After a few pharmacists get hit with lawsuits for child support for babies that were only born because contraception was denied, I imagine the practice of lying will die out…

    • Phexerian says:

      probably wont ever win that case. pharmacist didn’t force that person to have sex. pharmacist then counter sues for attorney fees. most likely preggers is even worse off financially now.