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Women Can Now Buy The Contraceptive Pill Over-The-Counter For The First Time

Women Can Now Buy The Contraceptive Pill Over-The-Counter For The First Time

The ‘mini pill’ will be available from high-street pharmacies.

Kimberley Bond

Kimberley Bond

The contraceptive pill will now be available to buy over-the-counter in a UK first.

Later this month, the progesterone-only pill, better known as the 'mini pill' or POP, will be on offer at pharmacies.

Women will no longer have to have an appointment with the doctor to get the pill, one of the most common forms of contraception in the UK.

The pill will be available behind-the-counter for the first time (

Instead of a prescription, those seeking the pill will have a brief consultation with a pharmacist before being offered the contraceptive.

The pills available will be the ones containing desogestrel - with the brand names Lovima and Hana on offer at high-street pharmacies.

The decision was reached after the MHRA, a drugs regulator in the UK, held a consultation on the matter in March.

Boots is one of the high street pharmacies offering the pill (
PA Images)

Chief Executive of the MHRA, Dr June Raine CBE, described the decision as "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."

Meanwhile, the Royal College of Obstetrician and Gynaecologists described the move as a "huge win".

No appointments are necessary (
PA Images)

Dr Edward Morris, president of RCOG, said: "This announcement is a huge win for women and girls who will no longer face unnecessary barriers when accessing this type of contraception.

"Even before the pandemic, too many women and girls were struggling to access basic women's health services.

"The consequences of this include an increase in the number of unplanned pregnancies, which can result in poorer outcomes for women and their babies.

"Enabling women and girls to access POP more easily and conveniently will give them more control over their reproductive health, which can only be a good thing."

The pill is one of the UK's most common forms of contraception (

Boots, Superdrug and Lloyds will all offer the pill in their pharmacies.

The change comes after an inquiry, launched last year, found women were finding it increasingly difficult to acquire contraception, with the coronavirus pandemic only exacerbating matters.

Research by Lovima also found 70 per cent of women agree that the pill should be easier to get and more widely available.

The changes will come into effect at the end of this month, but the exact date is still yet to be confirmed.

Boots have said Hana will be priced at £9.95 for a one-month pack and £21.95 for a three-month pack, while Lovima will be priced at £14.99 for a one-month pack and £29.99 for a three-month pack.

Featured Image Credit: Unsplash

Topics: UK News, Life News, Life, Sex & Relationships, Health