Two types of oral contraceptive pills could soon be sold over the counter in the UK for the first time ever.
The UK’s medicines agency is looking for opinions on the reclassification of two progesterone-only pills called Lovima 75 microgram film-coated tablets and Hana 75 microgram film-coated tablets.
If they are reclassified, it will be the first time a daily contraceptive pill is sold over the counter at a UK pharmacy without a doctor’s prescription.
Similar to Malta, the OCP is only available in the UK after a medical consultation. This may change soon.
A 2020 report by British MPs found that many women were struggling to access OCPs due to funding-cuts to services, which increased due to COVID-19.
In Malta, contraceptives, which are also used for a number of conditions like Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis and acne, are often abruptly out of stock, even before the pandemic hit.
This newsroom reported that a number of women in Malta struggle to access OCPs, with contraceptives like Qlaira constantly facing shortages before Brexit and COVID-19 affected supplies.
Parliamentary Secretary For Equality And Reforms Rosianne Cutajar has previously called for contraceptives to be made more accessible and to be added to the list of essential medicines, which would oblige the state to ensure adequate stock at all times. She also called for contraceptives to be prescription-free.
PN MP Claudette Buttigieg and youth wing MŻPN had also endorsed the proposal to ensure that contraceptives are accessible to everyone, including those that might not otherwise afford them. However, Buttigieg stressed that they must remain accessible only through a doctor’s prescription.
Making contraceptives more accessible by adding them to the essential medicines list is one proposal that could be included in a fresh sexual health policy update, which in Malta’s case, hasn’t been updated in a decade.
Do you think some contraceptives should be sold without a prescription?