This time SuzyKnew! went south to the Carolina lowcountry looking for emergency contraceptives (EC) . While we would have loved to have visited with our sisters on Gullah Island we were based closer to the mainland on Hilton Head Island and went to the Walmart.
We found two brands of the Morning After Pill in the South Carolina Walmart, Plan B One Step at $46.87 and Gedeon Richter’s generic version Take Action for $34.78. Like the other U.S. pharmacy we visited in Hyattsville, MD (Rite Aid), Walmart had only one of the brands available. Take Action was on the shelf while the branded EC was stocked out. And, no Ella, which works better for us curvy (read heavier) ladies of color, but requires a prescription in the U.S. so you can’t see it out in the open. Also like Rite Aid, Walmart did not want to be a part of this video and essentially ran away when the taping started. Pharmacists and pharmacy workers haven’t been so camera shy in non-U.S. places. In Paris, Lagos, Strasbourg, Zurich and Johannesburg, the pharmacists were curious and didn’t mind being a part of the video. When I asked questions some saw me taping and actually spoke up so their voices would be captured on tape.
So, don’t get any ideas that pharmacy workers in the U.S. are more comfortable talking about emergency contraceptives than workers in other countries. SuzyKnew!’s experience says that’s just not so…
But, like Rite Aid, Walmart did say they would answer any questions we had. But, I have to jump in and say I saw teen couples struggling to find emergency contraceptives when I was at Rite Aid and too embarrassed to ask (you know SuzyKnew! helped them out!) where as in overseas pharmacies, you just step right up to the counter – including Johannesburg, Port-au-Prince, Haiti (coming soon) and Cotonou, Benin (coming soon) and the pharmacy people tell you like it is. Not a lot of privacy though, I have to say…
But, South Carolina’s prices were cheaper – at least at Walmart – than they were in Maryland. That could be a function of the pharmacy chain or the south vs. the north.
SuzyKnew!’s next locale: Haiti!
Photo courtesy of queenquet.com