On Monday, Director of Health and Counseling Chris Smith sent an email to the student body announcing that the Cox Health and Counseling Center had exhausted its supply of the emergency contraceptive Plan B, and that he is uncertain when it will receive more.
Smith explained that many of the College’s local partners and pharmaceutical companies were experiencing similar shortages and only had a limited supply of Plan B; some were down to 10 or fewer, while some had none at all.
The College partners with McKesson and Pharmedix to acquire its medical supplies, Smith explained in an email to the Collegian. He attributed the lack of Plan B to supply chain complications related to the pandemic. “The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our strained health care systems and medical supply chains,” Smith wrote.
This shortage comes during a nationwide disruption in the global supply chain. In September, Forbes reported that port infrastructure is struggling to meet the supply demand. Due to the nationwide shortage of truck drivers — who are responsible for unloading the cargo at the port — many ships are sitting at the port for 2.5 times longer than prior to the pandemic, causing massive congestion.
Though Smith remains unsure as to when the Health Center will receive its full supply of Plan B, Crozier Center for Women has ordered 30 additional units for student use, according to an email Crozier Manager Camryn Langley ’24 sent on Wednesday.
Still, Langley emphasized that Crozier should be a “backup” to the Health Center, as Crozier has a limited supply.
On Wednesday, Smith reported in an email to the student body that the Health Center received a “very small” amount of Plan B from its local supply company. While the College awaits more supply, Smith encouraged students seeking Plan B to consult local pharmacies and to make use of the the safe sex resources available in both the Health Center and Crozier.