Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Morning-after pill now on store shelves

From the Guelph (Ont.) Mercury:
Local pharmacist Vivian Guergues isn't pleased she may no longer be able to offer guidance to women seeking Plan B, known as the morning-after birth control pill.

The National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities yesterday reclassified the drug levonorgestrel so it can be sold on pharmacy shelves, rather than behind the counter. Women previously had to ask for the drug and speak to a pharmacist.

Guergues, who works at Guelph Medical Place Pharmacy, said she preferred to supervise purchases of the drug, marketed as Plan B, to ensure women got any pharmacy assistance they needed.

"It would be better for the patient," Guergues said.

A woman coming in off the street may not always need the contraceptive and might be confused about its use, Guergues added.

The Canadian Pharmacists Association is opposed to the change in status of the drug to Schedule 3 -- which means it's readily available on shelves -- from Schedule 2, where behind-the-counter sale required consultation with a pharmacist. ...more

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