The UK government has announced that some types of contraceptive pills might be available over the counter and sold without prescription in the country for the first time. Health officials have been trying to get public views on whether two progestogen-only pills, which is also called the mini-pill, should be available without a prescription. Health experts have termed this move as a landmark opportunity for women’s health, which will improve the access to contraception. However, there are many concerns about how much these pills will cost to people and how these pills will be given out. The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has said that the public consultation will remain open until 5 March 2021, which concerns two pills Lovima 75 microgram tablets and Hana microgram tablets.
Both pills have desogestrel, which is a form of the hormone progesterone. At present, people cannot purchase it without a prescription from a certified doctor in the UK. While launching the public consultation, the MHRA has said that by reclassifying these pills, women will have a choice of where to get these pills. They have said that after reclassifying these medicines, these pills can be obtained from General physicians and sexual health clinics or over-the-counter from pharmacies.
Dr. Sarah Branch from the MHRA has said that public consultation will help them to know whether people want these pills to be available to pharmacies. She has said that to get a clearer picture of this initiative, it is important to hear from as many people and women groups as possible. The health agency has launched this public consultation after the companies, which make these pills, Maxwellia and HRA Pharma have applied for approval to make these pills available at pharmacies. Michelle Riddalls, the CEO of a firm called PAGB, which manufactures over-the-counter drugs has said that the move of the MHRA is a positive initiative.
Clare Murphy, Chief Executive of The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) has said that reclassifying these drugs will open up more options for an extremely safe method of contraception for women. She has said that these pills should be available at a cheaper price and there should be swift and easy consultations at the counter at the time of purchase. Last year, some of the experts have reported that women have gone through a hard time accessing contraception during the COVID19 pandemic. The All-Party Parliamentary Group ( APPG) has said that years of slashes to public health funding in the UK has resulted in patients navigating through a complex health system to receive basic healthcare.
Mini pills are a form of contraceptive, which has a type of hormone that is known as progesterone. Experts have said that if these pills are taken correctly, they can prevent more than 99 percent of unwanted pregnancies. They have said that due to a variety of factors, these pills might be 92 percent effective in real-time. Doctors have said that women should take one pill at the same time every day with no break in between. Vomiting, diarrhea, and some other drugs might reduce the efficiency of these pills. Progesterone-only pills thicken the mucus in the cervix and stop sperms to reach the eggs.
The progestogen is one of the hormones, which is produced by the ovaries naturally. Desogestrel progestogen-only pills as well have the potential to prevent ovulation. During the COVID19 pandemic, people have been asked to call their general physicians or sexual health clinics to obtain a prescription. After a phone or video call, they are provided with an electronic prescription after that contraception can be picked from a pharmacy or chemist.