OCP likely to be OTC … in New Zealand


packet of contraceptive pills on pink background

Oral contraceptives may soon be available over the counter in New Zealand if a submission to downschedule is successful

Natalie Gauld Ltd and Green Cross Health made a submission to reclassify oral contraceptives last year; the decision is subject to an objection period which ends today.

If the submission is successful, it will be Dr Gauld’s tenth successful prescription-to-OTC reclassification, and the ninth for Green Cross Health and Dr Gauld together.

“The oral contraceptive has long been recognised as appropriate for non-prescription supply,” Dr Gauld told the AJP.

“If there are no valid objections received, I will be delighted for New Zealand women who will have more convenient access to good contraception.

“Pharmacists have been shown to be capable of supplying such medicines without a prescription, referring people where medical care is necessary.

“Studies have shown how well NZ pharmacists have done with trimethoprim and oseltamivir and I am confident that they will provide this new service well, particularly with the model of mandatory training, and screening tools and patient information sheets specific for pharmacist supply.”

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