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Published on 23 June 2008

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Online contraceptive pill service criticised

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A UK website is becoming the first to offer the contraceptive pill online, raising safety concerns.

Website DrThom claims to be regulated by the Healthcare Commission, the UK health watchdog responsible for monitoring independent clinics and health service providers as well as the National Health Service.

A three-month supply of oral contraceptives can be purchased from the site for £29.99 by women who “have already used the oral contraceptive pill” and who are over 18 years of age, prompting safety concerns from doctors.

According to BBC News, a consultant gynaecologist and spokesperson for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists said that face to face consultation at a family planning clinic or with a general practictioner was better.

“Not only are you relying on the honesty of patients on things such as their, and what other medication they are taking, but in this situation you can’t carry out blood pressure tests, not just when you prescribe, but three months later,” the BBC reported him as saying.

According to the Daily Mail newspaper, Dr Trevor Stammers, chairman of the Christian Medical Fellowship said:

“I am sure it will only be a matter of time before someone has a thrombosis or embolism as a result of using that service,”

“The contraceptive pill is not a Smartie. You need to be monitored when you are on it.”

Critics of the measure, such as John Smeaton of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, said also that increasing the availability of contraception provided an incentive for young people to become sexually active, according to the Daily Mail.

Dr Thom



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