Victorian opposition vows to make contraceptive pill available over the counter
The Victorian opposition has promised to make the contraceptive pill available over the counter.
Women are currently forced to go to a doctor for a prescription at least once a year in order to take the medication.
Under the proposal, however, their first prescription would be from a doctor, but after that, they could simply go to the pharmacy rather than return to the doctor to get repeat scripts.
The pill is associated with health risks such as blood clots, meaning pharmacists would have to be responsible for keeping tabs on their patients’ health.
Some doctors say this could be dangerous, and that women should be having annual check-ups with their GP regardless.
"The pill is a medication that in some circumstances can have very significant side effects and complications," Dr Mark Herrington from the Victoria Harbour Medical Centre said.
"Pharmacists are very skilled and knowledgable people but the pharmacy environment is not the right environment to be having intimate and personal discussions."
According to Anthony Tassone from the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, pharmacists already handle the contraceptive pill in other parts of the world.
"There would be a set of guidelines that pharmacists would need to follow," he said.