Two brands of progestogen-only contraceptive pills have been approved to be purchased without a prescription

Consumer

Two brands of progestogen-only contraceptive pills, which contain desogestrel, have been approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency to be purchased in community pharmacies without a prescription.

The approval follows the Commission of Human Medicines’ safety inspection and two separate public consultations on the reclassification of the contraceptive pills Hana and Lovima from prescription-only medicines to pharmacy medicines.

“Two brands of progestogen-only contraceptive pills have been approved to be purchased without a prescription.“

The two public consultations received four-hundred and ninety-four responses, according to the MHRA, with over eighty per cent being in support of the reclassification.

Chief Executive of the MHRA, June Raine, stated: “This is good news for women and families. Pharmacists have the expertise to advise women on whether desogestrel is an appropriate and safe oral contraceptive pill for them to use and to give women the information they need to make informed choices. We have consulted a wide range of people to enable us to reach the decision to make this contraceptive available for the first time in the UK without prescription. We received many responses to our consultation, the majority of which supported this approach.”

Director of pharmacy and member experience, Royal Pharmaceutical Society, Robbie Turner, stated: “This move will increase access to a safe and effective method of contraception and enable women to make an informed choice about their needs after discussion with a pharmacist. Whilst this reclassification is a positive move, there will be an affordability issue for some women. Ultimately we’d like to see contraception provided for free through NHS community pharmacy services across Great Britain so that many more people can benefit from another point of access to contraception and advice.”

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