How often and under which circumstances do Mexican pharmacy vendors recommend misoprostol?

Diana K. Lara, Ibis Reproductive Health
Sandra Garcia, Population Council
Francisco Paz, Instituto Nacional de Neurologia y Neurocirugia

We want to understand how often and when misoprostol is recommended as an abortifacient at pharmacies in eight Mexican cities. We randomly selected 192 pharmacies sending three types of mystery clients to each of them. The clients asked for a drug to interrupt a pregnancy. If the vendor did not mention Cytotec spontaneously, the client asked directly about Cytotec. In 75% of the client-vendor interactions Cytotec was recommended, in 67% of those interactions in which the client asked directly about Cytotec the vendor he/she knew about the drug. Only 16% of the vendors recommended an effective dose. Pharmacies in Mexico City have less probability of asking for a prescription to sell Cytotec (OR 0.35, 95%CI-0.16-0.80) than other cities. Independent pharmacies have more probability of selling Cytotec by individual-pill than chain pharmacies (OR 3.17, 95%CI-1.46-6.90). There is extensive recommendation of misoprostol but infrequent recommendation of effective doses to induce an abortion.

  See paper

Presented in Session 26: Institutional contexts and actors engaged in the practice of abortion in Southern countries