The pill to be sold over the counter for first time in UK history

pharmafile | July 8, 2021 | News story | |   

The contraceptive pill will be sold over the counter without prescription for the first time in UK history.

The MHRA has granted Maxwellia’s Lovima contraceptive pill the license to be sold without prescription in pharmacies.

This reclassification of the daily progestogen-only pill is one of the biggest advances in women’s health in the 60 years since the pill was first launched in the UK.

This will allow women to make their own decisions when it comes to their reproductive health, as well as widen access and put pharmacists at the forefront.

The reclassification request was led by Maxwellia, a British company, and the world’s only dedicated “switching” specialist which converts prescription-only medicines into versions that can be bought in a pharmacy.

Switching is a rigorous regulatory process enabling pharmacists to safely supply what were previously prescription-only medicines.

Sibby Buckle FRPharmS, an Advanced Pharmacist Practitioner currently practicing in the east Midlands, said: “The entry of a progestogen-only pill as a Pharmacy medicine is a significant step forward, enabling us to better meet the contraceptive needs of our customers.

“As more and more people embrace self-care, this licence change presents pharmacists with a great opportunity to offer a wider choice of contraception and take a more proactive role in advising and educating customers on the contraceptive choices available.”

Anna Maxwell, CEO of Maxwellia, said: “This game-changing decision has allowed us to liberate this pill for thousands of women who can now choose to buy Lovima from their local pharmacy without a prescription following a consultation with their pharmacist or continue to get it for free on the NHS.

“It is the first, but momentous, step on our journey in enabling pharmacists to broaden their front-line role. As a registered pharmacist I know that pharmacists can play an even greater role in helping people take more control of their own health, which is why we are 100% focused on our switch strategy.”

Half of all UK pregnancies are unplanned, placing a huge burden on the NHS costing around £240 million each year.

Women spend 30 years of their lives on average trying to avoid an unplanned pregnancy, and more than a third are unable to access contraception services.

Lilly Subbotin

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