You Might Be Able to Get the Pill Over-the-Counter at the Chemist Soon
If you currently take the contraceptive pill, or have in the past, you know that feeling of terror when you run out of your supply without getting your hands on a new prescription. Well, we have some good news: This process could soon be simplified, with the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) looking to reclassify the medication.
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, the TGA is asking for public feedback by next week as it looks to reclassify a number of active ingredients that are commonly found in the pill. If these ingredients were to be reclassified, it would mean these products could be accessed directly from pharmacists. And, people who have used the pill previously wouldn’t have to visit their doctor for an updated prescription.
Two applications for the reclassification of drugs have been made, with the first concerning contraceptives that contain the active ingredients norethisterone, levonorgestrel and ethinylestradiol. Under this application, contraceptives containing these ingredients could be accessed by patients who have had a prescription for the medication within the last two years.
The second application involves the reclassification of 10 other drug substances that are commonly used in the pill and would allow pharmacists to supply the medication directly. In this case, consumers would have to prove they have been using the products for at least a period of 12 months and that the medication was originally prescribed by a doctor.
According to the application, this would allow more people to easily access the medication. “The requirement for healthy patients to physically visit their general practitioner for the sole purpose of obtaining a prescription, for an oral contraceptive they have taken safely for at least 12 months, creates unnecessary barriers to care and access to medicines.”
It is not known who lodged the applications to the TGA, with confidentiality requirements stopping the watchdog from releasing that information. “Anyone can make an application to amend the current Poisons Standard. It does not need to be a [drug’s] sponsor,” a spokesperson for the TGA said.
The final decision on these applications is expected to come from the TGA in November. For those who have limited access to the pill, this change could be revolutionary. Our fingers are crossed for you!