Approval of the "pill after" required

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Experts recommend lifting the prescription for the "morning-after pill"

The "morning-after pill" - a hormonally effective medicine that can be prescribed to women to protect themselves against an unwanted pregnancy after unprotected sexual intercourse. Experts have long recommended releasing the preparation from the prescription requirement because there are no medical arguments against a release, the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices told the news agency "dpa" after a meeting of the expert committee for prescription on Tuesday.

Ingredient Levonorgestrel protects against unwanted pregnancy Women who have had sexual intercourse without contraception and then fear pregnancy can have their gynecologist prescribe the so-called "morning-after pill". It is a hormonally active drug that prevents pregnancy through the active ingredients "Levonorgestrel" or "Ulipristal" - provided the egg has not yet implanted in the uterus. Therefore, there is not much time left for taking it, at the latest 72 hours ("Levonorgestrel") or 120 hours ("Ulipristal") after sexual intercourse.

No medical arguments against discharge from the prescription requirement “Now experts are again calling for the prescription of the contraceptive preparation to be lifted. As the news agency "dpa" reports, the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices announced after a meeting of the expert committee for prescription on Tuesday in Bonn, "there are no medical arguments that would speak against a prescription release." the General Meeting of the German Pharmacists' Day in September 2013 resolved a corresponding proposal to lift the prescription requirement; the Federal Council had also voted in favor of this in November last year, according to the Federal Association of German Pharmacist Associations (ABDA).

CDU against approval But in the end, politics decides. It therefore remains to be seen how Federal Health Minister Hermann Gröhe (CDU) deals with this recommendation, which is now being forwarded to the ministry - because the CDU has so far had no issue with a freely accessible "pill afterwards". For example, the Bavarian Minister of Health Melanie Huml (CSU) expressed her intention to inform Hermann Gröhe “of her concerns” regarding a release, the “dpa” continued. Support for the release plan, however, comes from the ranks of the Greens: According to the North Rhine-Westphalian Minister of Health, Barbara Steffens (Greens), the end of the prescription requirement for the "morning-after pill" is "overdue". Free access in many other countries has shown that this is possible without any problems, so that there are no understandable reasons why this would not be the case here, too, the politician told the dpa.

Pharmacists call for rapid implementation of the recommendation As the Federal Association of German Pharmacists' Associations reports, the recommendation of the Expert Committee is welcomed by the pharmacists: "The pharmacists expect this recommendation to be implemented quickly and the drug prescription regulation to be changed accordingly," explains Dr. Andreas Kiefer, President of the Federal Chamber of Pharmacies. Since it is important due to the short time span "that the women concerned have quick and low-threshold access to this emergency contraceptive", according to the Federal Association of German Pharmacists' Associations, availability must be guaranteed everywhere. “The pharmacies close to home with their low-threshold, nationwide night and emergency service can provide patients with short-term care, including the necessary advice. Pharmacists can ensure drug safety and take responsibility for ensuring that drugs are not misused, ”continued Kiefer. (No)

Image: Martin Berk /

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