No increase in contraceptive purchases - pharmacies

February 09, 2016

The Ministry of Health has called for women to delay pregnancy for at least six months. However, checks with pharmacies have revealed there has been no difference in people's contraceptive-purchasing habits.

The ministry's advisory comes as ZIKV has been linked to microcephaly in babies whose mothers were infected with the virus during pregnancy.

Microcephaly causes an abnormal smallness of the head and is associated with incomplete brain development.

Ernestine Watson from Everybody's Pharmacy on Slipe Road, St Andrew, said contraceptive sales have not increased.

"Emergency contraceptives, especially the morning-after pill, go really fast, but I don't notice any increase in sales, off the bat. I would definitely have to check my inventory for an exact figure, but no noticeable increase," she said.

At Liguanea Drug and Garden Centre, a pharmacist said only two persons have consulted the store to stock up on medications in light of the ZIKV advisory.

"That's about it. Nothing really to write home about where contraceptives are concerned," he said.

In Portmore, where the Island's first ZIKV case was reported, a cashier at Portmore Pharmacy said there was no increase in the purchase of contraceptives.

Marcia Pottinger at First Choice Pharmacy in Portmore confirmed there was an increase in contraceptive sales, but not an unusual number.

Although contraceptives are not in high demand, repellents, especially those containing the deet, are a hot commodity, pharmacies reported.

"Repellent, Vape and destroyer are definitely moving faster than normal," said a representative of Everybody's Pharmacy.

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