The Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (RPSGB) has announced that it recognises that there are some benefits to selling the contraceptive pill online.
When used safely and appropriately, online access to medicines and healthcare advice can offer benefits to patients in terms of convenience and accessibility, they say, especially for people who are busy and can not get to the doctor.
However, they add that it is important that patients undergo necessary health checks, such as blood pressure monitoring and weight measurement, when taking contraceptive medicines; a service offered by many pharmacists.
Pharmacists can also provide advice and support on sexual health such as prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections, Chlamydia testing, and supply of emergency hormonal contraception and condoms.
Often they have private consultation areas where patients can discuss their problems confidentially.
Priya Sejpal, Head of Professional Ethics at RPSGB, said: “The RPSGB welcomes any initiative that supports self-care. However, as with all medicines, contraceptive pills can have complications and side-effects. It is important that anyone prescribed contraceptive pills is monitored and has regular health checks to ensure that the product is suitable for them. Anybody who is unsure about their medicine should speak with their local pharmacist for advice.”