Saturday, December 03, 2005

Morning-after pill privacy concerns raised

The Toronto Star is reporting on a controversy brewing after the Canadian Pharmacists Society has issued guidelines to its members on prescribing Plan B, also known as the "morning after pill". The guidelines call on pharmacists to collect and hold onto personal information from the patient, including information on sexual history. No other over the counter medication requires this and pharmacists are proposing to add a "consultation fee" of $20 on top of the price of the drug.

I have done a lot of looking at privacy practices in Canadian pharmacies and compliance with privacy laws is spotty, at best. If you accept that this information in necessary for the proper dispensing of Plan B, pharmacists will still need to make sure that this consultation takes place in private. Many pharmacies, particularly in the large chains, have built consultation rooms but I have yet to see one actually used while sensitive health information is routinely discussed over the counter within earshot of other customers.

Read the Star article here: - Morning-after pill privacy concerns raised.

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