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Columbia, Maryland, Westinghouse Population Center (AID Con tract #csd/3319). 1974 Apr; 164.The Westinghouse Population Center, Columbia, Maryland, under contract to the United States Agency for International Development, has investigated the current and potential distribution of contraceptives through available commercial channels in Turkey as well as in 8 other developing nations. It is believed that commercial sector contraceptive distribution can have a significant effect on fertility patterns. The purpose of the investigation is to identify and evaluate the existing contraceptive market, the channels of distribution, and the potential for increasing private sector participation in expanding the availability and usage of contraceptive products. The private sector currently supplies a larger percentage of the couples using contraceptives in Turkey than does the public sector. The private sector's distribution capability is such that it can reach people who do not reside within a reasonable distance of a pharmacy or clinic as well as make a wider range of products and information available so that consumers can choose the brand and/or method they wish to use. Included in the findings of the report are recommendations for action. It is recommended that the government eliminate duties and taxes on the importation of finished condoms and of raw materials for producing oral pills and vaginal contraceptives, streamline the procedures for importing condoms, and increase the number of retail outlets for contraceptive products. The government and manufacturers should initiate physician education programs. At the manufacturer's level, pharmacists and other retail outlet operators who sell contraceptive products need to be supplied with accurate information. Mass media should be used at the consumer level to inform the public about the proper use of contraceptives, for the majority of couples has limited knowledge of how to obtain and use contraceptives. Promotion of contraceptives should be targeted to both male and female audiences. A research strategy should be incorporated which makes a series of quick evaluations of various elements of the program possible.
Drug Intelligence and Clinical Pharmacy. 1984 Sep; 18(9):730-5.The distribution of the patient package insert (PPI) by pharmacists is at best controversial. Although most health professionals agree that the patient has the right to receive information about drugs, they disagree on the best way to provide that information. Since the oral contraceptive (OC) PPI has been in routine use for approximately 10 years, a large data base exists that can be used to determine not only patient acceptance of the PPI, but also knowledge, feelings, and behavior secondary to the PPI. In this study, 50 women of childbearing age completed a questionnaire, and it was learned that 84% had taken or were currently taking OCs, and 90% of those received a PPI; however, only 61% of these women read all of it. The women performed poorly on the knowledge exam (mean +or- SD, 44.5 +or- 21.2, range 0-83%); those who read all of the PPI or who were white had higher scores (P0.02 and P0.001). 38% of the women thought that the PPI information was inadeqaute, suggesting that it needs to be rewritten and/or supplemented with information from pharmacists. After reading the PPI, 12% contacted their pharmacist for additional information. Pharmacists are in a unique position to provide OC information that enables women to make informed judgments regarding benefit: risk ratios on a personal basis. (author's)
San Francisco, San Francisco Press, 1974. 292 p.Despite its high effectiveness, lack of side effects, ease of use, and low cost, condom utilization has declined in the U.S. from 30% of contracepting couples in 1955 to 15% in 1970. The present status of the condom, actions needed to facilitate its increased availability and acceptance, and research required to improve understanding of factors affecting its use are reviewed in the proceedings of a conference on the condom sponsored by the Battelle Population Study Center in 1973. It is concluded that condom use in the U.S. is not meeting its potential. Factors affecting its underutilization include negative attitudes among the medical and family planning professions; state laws restricting sales outlets, display, and advertising; inapplicable testing standards; the National Association of Broadcasters' ban on contraceptive advertising; media's reluctance to carry condom ads; manufacturer's hesitancy to widen the range of products and use aggressive marketing techniques; and physical properties of the condom itself. Further, the condom has an image problem, tending to be associated with venereal disease and prostitution and regarded as a hassle to use and an impediment to sexual sensation. Innovative, broad-based marketing and sales through a variety of outlets have been key to effective widespread condom usage in England, Japan, and Sweden. Such campaigns could be directed toward couples who cannot or will not use other methods and teenagers whose unplanned, sporadic sexual activity lends itself to condom use. Other means of increasing U.S. condom utilization include repealing state and local laws restricting condom sales to pharmacies and limiting open display; removing the ban on contraceptive advertising and changing the attitude of the media; using educational programs to correct erroneous images; and developing support for condom distribution in family planning programs. Also possible is modifying the extreme stringency of condom standards. Thinner condoms could increase usage without significantly affecting failure rates. More research is needed on condom use-effectiveness in potential user populations and in preventing venereal disease transmission; the effects of condom shape, thickness, and lubrication on consumer acceptance; reactions to condom advertising; and the point at which an acceptable level of utilization has been achieved.