In response to the MHRA consultation on making the oral contraceptive pill desogestrel available from pharmacies, BPAS Chief Executive Clare Murphy said:
“We support the reclassification of the progestogen-only pill so it can be sold directly to women without a prescription by a pharmacist. It’s an uncontroversial move which should improve access to an extremely safe method of contraception, and give women another option if they cannot access their GP, or prefer a walk-in service.
“Our main concern is that this will be made available at an affordable price to women, and that the consultation at the counter to provide supply is swift and straightforward as there are very few contraindications to the use of this pill. We should learn the lessons from the transition of emergency contraception to a pharmacy medication in the early 2000s, in which the price of the pill was set high and the consultation overly intrusive, and ensure the provision of this pills is as accessible and affordable for as many women as possible.”
Notes to editors
The MHRA announcement can be found here - https://www.gov.uk/government/news/views-sought-on-making-the-oral-contraceptive-pill-desogestrel-available-from-pharmacies
BPAS is a charity which sees almost 100,000 women a year for reproductive healthcare services including pregnancy counselling, abortion care, miscarriage management and contraception at clinics across Great Britain. It supports and advocates for reproductive choice. BPAS also runs the Centre for Reproductive Research and Communication, which seeks to develop and deliver a research agenda that furthers women’s access to evidence-based reproductive healthcare, driven by an understanding of women’s perspectives and needs. You can find out more here: https://www.bpas.org/get-involved/centre-for-reproductive-research-communication/
BPAS will be launching a not-for-profit fertility service in 2021 to provide ethical, evidence-based, person-centred care that supports patients. We intend to only charge what it costs to provide a safe, high-quality, and accessible service to patients who may be unable to access NHS-funded care.