Emergency contraception issues featured during web-based conference

Washington, D.C. During a web-based conference today, two of the nation's leading experts on reproductive health and family planning presented the latest information on providing emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs) to adolescents. The American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM) hosted the conference at Medscape from WebMD. A free archive of the session will soon be available online at www.medscape.com.

Dr. Melanie A. Gold of the School of Medicine and the Graduate School of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh, and Dr. Donald F. Downing of the School of Pharmacy at the University of Washington, delivered presentations and answered audience questions. Dr. George Lundberg, Editor of Medscape General Medicine, moderated the session. The conference provided critical information for practicing physicians, public health officials, and other front-line health providers who provide primary care, reproductive health, and family planning services to adolescents or are concerned with the health and social implications of providing ECPs to adolescents.

The conference featured an overview of the newest indications, contraindications, mechanisms of action, efficacy, and safety of ECPs. Participants also learned the advantages and disadvantages, as related to adolescent health, of pharmacist-dispensed and over-the-counter ECPs versus provision of ECPs by other health care providers with prescriptive authority. Additionally, the speakers addressed the potential impact of changes in ECP availability for adolescents' access to reproductive health care. The conference was particularly timely because scientific advisors to the Food and Drug Administration recently recommended that the FDA approve an ECP for over-the-counter use.

Adolescent girls currently face prohibitive barriers to obtaining ECPs within the narrow window of effectiveness. Many clinicians require an office visit before prescribing ECPs

Contact: Jennifer Bretsch
American College of Preventive Medicine

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