Several universities throughout the country have recently implemented on-campus wellness vending machines that sell emergency contraception at a discounted price, 24/7.
This month, Stanford University unveiled its first wellness machine on campus. The machine sells a generic form of Plan B One-Step called My Way, as well as other over-the-counter items such as condoms, pregnancy tests, period products and Advil — following in the footsteps of a similar machine implemented at University of California, Davis in April 2017.
Parteek Singh, the UC Davis graduate who spearheaded the implementation of the wellness machine at his university, said he faced some pushback from the administration but encouraged students everywhere to pursue it anyway.
“As a student, your biggest role is to advocate for this resource and make sure it comes on campus,” said Singh. “But then it is the administration's job to take control of how it's going to run and how they're going to implement this."
Like UC Davis and Stanford University, UNC’s Campus Health pharmacies have abbreviated hours on weekends and evenings, making Plan B available to students on campus no later than 6 p.m. on weekdays and between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturdays.
Generic Plan B can be purchased for a discounted price of $26 at the Healthy Heels Shoppe at Campus Health as well as the pharmacy in the Student Stores on weekdays and Saturdays. Outside of Campus Health, the average price of Plan B One-Step is $50 and one-dose generic forms cost about $40.
Prescription forms are also available at Campus Health Pharmacy for those who find Plan B is not right for them.
“We do think it's useful to talk with a pharmacist although we don’t want to present that as a barrier in any way which is why we have the Plan B available on our shelves,” said Amy Sauls, the director of the pharmacy for UNC Campus Health Services. “You don’t have to talk to a pharmacist or to anyone. You can just purchase it.”
According to Sauls, prescription forms can be more effective than generic Plan B, and can be used up to 5 days after unprotected intercourse.