New kind of vending machine

Shippensburg University in central Pennsylvania has a new kind of vending machine on campus.

Rather than vending machine staples like candy, cookies and chips, the campus health center’s vending machine has condoms, pregnancy tests and the “morning-after pill.”

Students can purchase the Plan B or the morning-after pill – which is available without prescription for anyone 17 and older – at the vending machine for $25.

University officials said all currently enrolled students are at least 17 years old and insist the vending machine can’t be accessed by non-students – eliminating the risk of underage people accessing the drug.

It’s unclear what the school would do if someone younger than 17 enrolls at the university.

While the drug’s cost is lower at the vending machine than at off-campus pharmacies, the college isn’t subsidizing the cost. The price at the vending machine is set by the school’s cost to the pharmaceutical company.

The contraceptive vending machine stemmed from a student survey the university conducted several years ago. At the time, 85 percent of respondents supported making Plan B available.

The pill’s availability in a vending machine appears to be rare, if not unprecedented, according to the Associated Press.

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