An agreement between Boynton Health Service and an off-campus pharmacy to provide emergency contraception to University students is receiving positive feedback from Boynton officials in a three-month review of the program.
The partnership, initiated in late November, allows students to obtain the “morning-after pill” at the Cub Foods pharmacy in the Har Mar Mall in Roseville when Boynton is closed on weeknights and weekends.
“The agreement has been working efficiently and effectively,” said Dr. Carol Nelson, a physician at Boynton Health Service’s Women’s Clinic. “We will be reviewing it on a yearly basis too.”
Cub Foods pharmacy officials declined to comment on the partnership.
A University student working at the Cub Foods pharmacy originally brought the proposal to the Women’s Clinic.
“We set up a relationship with that particular pharmacy so that students that needed (emergency contraception) would have access to it in the evenings and the weekends and not have to wait until the clinic was open,” Nelson said.
She said the emergency contraception is most effective when used as soon as possible after unprotected sex. She said it’s most effective if used within 24 hours but can be used up to 72 hours after intercourse.
Students who need the pills can visit Boynton’s pharmacy on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Cub Foods pharmacy is open until 7 p.m. on weekdays and has weekend hours.
Nelson said the Cub Foods pharmacy was an obvious choice for the partnership. The store opened last February and was still in the process of developing a customer base when Boynton expressed interest in offering its patients emergency contraception at an off-campus site.
Pharmacists in the new store had enough extra time to provide the counseling necessary for emergency contraception patients, Nelson said.
Students requesting the pills complete eligibility and informed consent and education forms with a pharmacist to ensure the drug is used appropriately.
The information Cub Foods pharmacists request is similar to the questions posed by nurses who assist students requesting emergency contraception through Boynton.
Pharmacy clients also receive brochures provided by Boynton about emergency contraception, birth control methods or sexual assault.
Boynton patients receive Plan B, a form of emergency contraception that reduces the risk of pregnancy by 89 percent to 95 percent, at both pharmacies.
To date, the Cub Foods pharmacy has filled between 15 and 20 emergency contraception prescriptions, Nelson said.
The only difference between services the two pharmacies offer is price. Students are responsible for payment at the off-campus pharmacy. The prescription at Cub Foods is not covered under the University Student Services Fee.
The Cub Foods pharmacy charges approximately $28 for the pills and adds an additional $20 consultation fee to the patient’s bill.
“At Cub it ends up being close to $50, and here the pills are only $12,” Nelson said. “But we really don’t want cost to be a deterrent because (emergency contraception) is more effective within the first 24 hours.”
Students agreed the time factor associated with the drug makes extending Boynton’s pharmacy services necessary.
“It’s got to be accessible or otherwise people probably wouldn’t be able to get it,” said Lisa Rinn, a kinesiology sophomore.
Elementary education sophomore Kim Magee agreed the partnership will help students access the services they need.
“Sometimes the Boynton hours aren’t very flexible,” she said. “I think the (off-campus) option is a good idea.”
Mary Stegmeir welcomes comments at [email protected]