FSRH consultation response: FSRH fully supports reclassification of the progestogen-only pill as a Pharmacy medicine

Posted 5 March 2021

Date: 05 Mar 2021

Type: FSRH Consultation Responses

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is consulting on whether to reclassify Hana and Lovima, two brands of progestogen-only contraceptive pills as Pharmacy (P) medicines. This means that they would be available for purchase from a pharmacist without a prescription. In our consultation response, we make the case for reclassification of this safe and popular contraceptive.

We have worked for many years with partners to encourage the reclassification of progestogen-only pills (POP) as they are safe, reliable, easy to use and a very popular contraceptive method. We believe that reclassification is the first step to removing barriers faced by women in accessing contraception to avoid unplanned pregnancies.

Many GP surgeries are no longer able to offer the full range of contraceptive methods and lack trained staff to provide it. We believe the reclassification will also be beneficial for healthcare professionals, as it could relieve unnecessary pressures on GPs, reducing the number of patients seen for repeat prescriptions.

Available evidence and extensive experience of use indicate that the 75mcg desogestrel progestogen-only pill can be taken from menarche to menopause with very low risk of serious adverse events and there are few medical contraindications.

Sexual and reproductive healthcare is an essential part of healthcare. This reclassification is a vital step towards removing some of the barriers and obstacles faced by women in accessing contraception and building a sexual and reproductive healthcare system that is fit for purpose.

Read our response on the reclassification of Lovima here

Read our response on the reclassification of Hana here