Six months after the vending machine stocked with Plan B for $7.25 was unveiled, the machine will be out of stock until further notice, according to an Instagram post by the Boston University Students for Reproductive Freedom.
SRF announced in an Instagram post Sept. 8 that there were issues with the newest refill, citing “technical difficulties” and “size issues” with their newest shipment as the cause of the delays. SRF will post an update on their Instagram page when the machine is restocked.
SRF’s Instagram post alerted students that resources are available through BU Student Health Services and local pharmacies.
According to SHS, students do not need an appointment to receive emergency contraceptives. Instead they may send a message to a nurse through Patient Connect using the “ask a nurse – emergency contraception.”
A nurse will then review the message and send the prescription to a local pharmacy. Students with SHIP insurance will be able to pick up the prescription for free, but rates may vary for other insurance plans.
Students can also look to get emergency contraceptives at local pharmacies, such as the CVS or Target. However, these retail locations sell emergency contraceptives for anywhere between $30 to $50, a price nearly four to seven times as much as the Plan B being sold in the GSU.
A BU SRF representative said all the information SRF has is published on their Instagram.
Anna Kawai, a sophomore in the College of Engineering, said affordable Plan B is vital for mental health, academic success and financial stability of students.
“I’m very disappointed in those who are responsible of managing that vending machine, basically because for girls in college having access to contraceptives, and options like that is vital for their academic success,” Kawai said.
Summer Brainin, a sophomore in the College of Communications, said she is “concerned” for the people that relied on the machine for affordable Plan B.
“Hopefully they can restock it soon because $7 versus $50 is a big discrepancy, and I know that’s gonna affect some people,” Brainin said.
SPS also delivers safe sex supplies through the “condom fairy” program where students can request supplies to be delived to their mailbox for free both on and off campus.
Brainin said she would like SRF to address the issue in more places such as putting a sign on the machine explaining why it is out of stock.
“I think that could be good for the general public because some people who aren’t part of the club might not know until they get there,” Brainin said.
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly mentioned SRF’s website. The club posts their information on their Instagram exclusively. The article has been edited to reflect this change.
Big issue for sure! thanks for covering this
Super Interesting and Informative! Thank you for keeping us in the loop.
Can someone link the SRF website? It’s mentioned in the article but I can’t find it.
This is a really important issue, especially given the recent events we are dealing with as a society. Im am impressed with how skillfully this was written, especially since this such a difficult topic to take on!
The machine will be up and running October 11th. So proud of this student group for putting so much time and unpaid labor into maintaining and expanding this resource despite national Plan B shortages and widespread backorders!