Two types of birth control pills will be available for purchase without a prescription from pharmacies, the UK medicines regulator has decided.
The progestogen tablets Hana and Lovima can now be supplied over the counter after being reclassified by the Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
This is the first time that women will be able to buy progesterone-only oral contraceptive pills, which contain desogestrel, without a prescription in the UK.
However, buyers will still need to have a consultation with the pharmacist.
The MHRA says desogestrel is safe for most women and will always be available free of charge from a doctor, mandated services, and sexual health clinics.
Pills that combine estrogen and progesterone will always require a prescription.
Dr June Raine CBE, executive director of the MHRA, said the decision was “good news” for women and families.
She said: “Pharmacists have the expertise to counsel women on whether desogestrel is an appropriate and safe oral contraceptive pill to use and to give women the information they need to make informed choices.
“We consulted a wide range of people to help us make the decision to make this contraceptive available for the first time in the UK without a prescription. We received many responses to our consultation, the majority of which supported this approach. “
Dr Edward Morris, President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (RCOG), said the announcement is a “huge victory for women and girls” who will no longer face unnecessary barriers when accessing contraception.
He added: “Even before the pandemic, too many women and girls struggled to access basic health services for women.
“The consequences of this include an increase in the number of unwanted pregnancies, which can lead to …
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This notice was published: 2021-07-08 15:46:00