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Over-the-counter pill proposal a winner for most women

The contraceptive pill should be available over-the-counter but only for repeat prescriptions, according to the majority of ONE News Facebookers.

The reaction was sparked by news the oral contraceptive pill could soon be given out by specially trained pharmacists instead of women having to go to a doctor or a Family Planning clinic.

A similar submission made last year was denied after doctors expressed concern.

However, scores of women have taken to ONE News' Facebook page to back the proposal, as long as it is only for repeat prescriptions.

"I mean, after the first visit to a gp to assess what type of birth control is suitable, why the should it not be easier (and cheaper! - less doc fees!) for women to have access to their contraception?," posted Emma Penty.

Hera Parker agrees: "...when you first go on it talk to your gp so they can go over the different options and types then once you have the right one for you over the counter is good but don't want to be paying an arm and a leg."

Corrin Collins commented: "I think its good for a repeat prescription cause its so expensive to go and get a new one every 6 months $50 later!"

Currently women are faced with paying between $18 and $60 for a GP visits to get a prescription. An alternative is to visit Family Planning for a prescription. It's free but only if you're under 22, otherwise it could cost up to $27.

The Pharmacy Guild says chemists would probably charge a consultation fee.

Some ONE News Facebookers say the system should stay as it is as the contraceptive pill is too risky to be given out without a medical check.

"How many times have I read headlines about women being on the wrong pill and having health issues?! I myself was on one that has a higher risk than others for blood clots and they run in my family! This is not ok!," posted Stephanie Crystal.

Lisa Frame said doctor visits should be made cheaper when women are going in to get a prescription for the pill, while Jessica Courtney Evans says "convenience should not be paramount to health".

The Medicine Classification Committee will make a decision on the proposal in May.

A decision will soon be made over whether to make access to the oral contraceptive easier for Kiwi women. Source: 1 NEWS


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