Contraceptive Pill to be given out by pharmacists

Pharmacists are to initiate long-term contraception for girls and women aged 13-25 as part of a service launched on the Isle of Wight.

A 28-day supply of the progestoerone-only pill desogestrel will be offered to girls and women requesting emergency hormonal contraception (EHC). The supply will be made free-of-charge under a patient group direction.

Pharmacists will highlight the benefits of long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) and refer patients to a GP or sexual health service for full assessment and ongoing contraception.

The scheme will be launched in October in 10 of the 30 pharmacies on the island. The pharmacies selected are those where levels of EHC provision is already high, Isle of Wight PCT community pharmacy lead Kevin Noble said.

The PCT will monitor engagement with the service and the postcode and age of people using the service, Mr Noble said. It will also examine rates of attendance at the appointments to which patients are referred and uptake of LARCs at these appointments.

A pilot scheme enabling pharmacists to offer oral contraceptives was launched in three pharmacies in Lambeth and Southwark in December 2009.

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