WOMEN can buy the contrapetive pill online for the first time ever today.
Superdrug will be giving out the birth control to those eligble with only a quick consulatation.
They won't need a prescription from their GP, as has been the case for decades.
Instead, they will have a consultation with a trained pharmacist to decide if they are suitable.
This involves filling out a confidential form online and waiting for it to be reviewed by doctors, who then sent the pill to the woman's address.
Only the progesterone-only pill (POP), otherwise known as the “mini pill”, will be on offer.
Superdrug said it's a good choice for women who cannot take combined contraceptive pills, such as women who have high blood pressure, are over 35 and smoke, or are overweight.
HPR Pharma's Hana will be priced at £8.95 for one-month’s supply and £19.75 for the three months on Superdrug.com and on Superdrug Online Doctor.
It will also soon be sold in the 200 stores, as well as other high-street pharmacies across the UK such as Boots and Lloyds.
It comes after the UK drugs watchdog the MHRA decided earlier this month that women should be able to buy the pill over-the-counter.
POPs containing desogestrel will soon be available to buy in pharmacies – Hana and Maxwellia’s product Lovima.
The milestone move will make it easier for women to get birth control, considering GP appointments can be a hassle and walk-in clinics can have long waits.
Dr Sara Kayat, Superdrug’s Health Ambassador, said: “This expansion in access to contraception is extremely welcomed.
"Progesterone only contraception is both safe and reliable, and making it over the counter allows for a more efficient process, improves convenience, and reduces the burden on other healthcare providers.
"Making contraception more widely available is a significant opportunity to empower more women to take control of their own sexual and reproductive healthcare.”
What is the mini-pill?
The progestogen-only pill (POP) prevents pregnancy by thickening the mucus in the cervix to stop sperm reaching an egg.
The desogestrel progestogen-only pill can also stop ovulation.
It needs to be taken every day to work. Some need to be taken within the same three-hour window every time, while others are within a 12-hour window.
There's no break between packs of pills, so women do not get a withdrawal bleed (period).
Women who can take it include:
- those who can't take contraception containing oestrogen
- those who are overweight
- those who smoke
- those who are over 35 years old
Michael Henry, Superdrug’s Healthcare Director, said: “This landmark decision by the MHRA is a big step forward in removing some of the barriers that are faced when trying to obtain a contraceptive pill.
"The pandemic has made it even harder to access essential contraception and so this decision should be celebrated."
The MHRA move was described as a “huge win” by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG).
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