Welcome to 2011 and non prescribed emergency contraception becoming a reality.
The reaction to the announcement that Boots are to dispense emergency contraception to women has been positive so far. Using a dispensing protocol which has been in place for other medications since last summer, Boots pharmacists will be able to meet with clients in a private room for a full consultation and the medication will be dispensed.
This service has already been available to Boots customers in the UK and Northern Ireland for the fee of £24.99. In Ireland the fee from Wednesday will be €45. This will be cheaper than attending a doctor and then attending a local pharmacist to get the prescription filled. It will also save on the time involved and for some travelling to find a sympathetic service. Last year a woman in Tralee reported that a GP in Tralee refused to prescribe the medication to her.
Choice Ireland and the Irish Family Planning Association have both welcomed the announcement by Boots. The Irish College of General Practitioners have raised concerns saying that continuity of care may be affected [loss of business also one assumes]. The Irish Medicines Board confirmed last night that the medication can be dispensed by a pharmacist which makes one wonder why others had not done sone before now. I’m also seeking clarification on whether the service will be available to medical card holders.