Sunday, August 08, 2010

The Benefits of Invading Mexico

Photo by Gnarls Monkey

Everybody knows that if you live in Mexico there are advantages to invading the U.S. But what about the reverse? If you live in the States, are there any benefits to crossing the border into Mexico?

The answer is yes, you can benefit from, you know, invading Mexico, if you happen to be a low-income woman on the Pill that is.

Researches wanted to test the hypothesis that making access to the Pill more convenient -- by 1)removing the prescription requirement, and 2) providing users with more Pill packs -- could increase Pill use and continuation.

They recruited 1046 current Pill users living in El Paso, TX, a setting where low-income women can obtain the Pill without a prescription by crossing the border into Mexico and buying the Pill OTC from a Ciudad Juarez pharmacy. [532 women received Pill packs with a prescription from an El Paso clinic and 514 women purchased the Pill OTC from a Ciudad Juarez pharmacy.]

The study found that discontinuation was significantly lower for women who used the pharmacy to buy the Pill than for clinic users. When the number of Pill packs was taken into account, discontinuation rates were higher...for clinic users who received one to five pill packs. Only clinic users receiving 6+ pill packs had continuation close to pharmacy users.

So, convenience matters and can increase continuation. Which is all and good if you live near the border and have access to a pharmacy where the Pill is sold OTC. If you don't, unfortunately your options are limited. That's because most health plans limit the Rx filled at a pharmacy to a 30-day supply and [s]tate Medicaid polices vary across the country, but no more than a 100-day supply is dispensed at any one time.

One way to get around the 1 pack limit is to ask for same sample packs from your Ob/Gyn and check to see if your insurance plan has a mail-order pharmacy program which usually ships a 3-months supply of meds.

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