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What We're Reading: Despite California Law, Women Struggle to Access Birth Control


What we're reading, November 1, 2016: despite law, women in California still struggle to access birth control; Americans mostly believe obesity can be fixed through willpower; and Facebook is going after pharmaceutical advertisements.

A California law has made it possible for women to get birth control at the pharmacy without a doctor’s prescription. However, women still have trouble finding pharmacists implementing the law and prescribing birth control, according to the Los Angeles Times. Although the law was passed in 2013, it didn’t go into effect until April 2016, and since pharmacists aren’t required to provide birth control, they may never choose to. California is 1 of 3 states that passed such a law.

Despite evidence that obesity is a genetic condition, a majority of Americans still blame the health threat on willpower. According to the New York Times, a survey of 1509 adults found three-fourths of respondents said the best treatment for obesity was diet and exercise. However, research has proven that obesity is the result of the environment and genetics. In fact, 94% of survey participants who were obese said diet and exercise was not successful no matter how many times they tried.

More drug ads might soon be on Facebook as the social media giant opens the door for Big Pharma’s advertising. Drug makers will also be able to block comments on pages promoting a specific product and sponsor community pages that bring together people with the same medical condition, reported STAT. Social media can be a difficult space for pharmaceutical companies, which have to follow regulations, such as including side effects on drug ads. Bayer had the first ad, only appearing on mobile, promoting an auto-injector for a multiple sclerosis medication.

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