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Guild welcomes reclassification of oral contraceptive

Pharmacy Guild of New ZealandWednesday 15 February 2017, 2:13PM

The Pharmacy Guild of New Zealand (the Guild) welcomes the Medicines Classification Committee (MCC) recommendation to reclassify selected oral contraceptives as restricted medicines, allowing trained pharmacists to dispense repeat supplies of oral contraceptives to women who have had them prescribed within the last three years. Medsafe has accepted this recommendation.

The Guild strongly supported the reclassification proposal when it was originally submitted to MCC in 2015 and believe the model of care recommended by the MCC for the supply of oral contraceptives provides considerable safety, ensures all women speak to a health professional, and provides an integrated approach with multiple opportunities for a referral to a doctor or other health care team. With the patient's consent, pharmacists will notify their doctor of the supply of the oral contraceptive to ensure the sharing of important health information between health care providers.

Guild Chief Executive, Andrew Gaudin says "Community pharmacy is ideally placed and qualified to be providing these extended services to their patients and we are extremely pleased to see MCC support community pharmacy in playing a greater role in primary health care.

"Pharmacies already provide a range of health services to their local communities cost effectively, efficiently and conveniently and we strongly support increasing accessibility to medicine such as the oral contraceptive through reclassification. The Ministry of Health's aim to deliver more convenient health services to patients in their communities and this reclassification supports this.

"Access will be particularly improved over weekends and public holidays when general practice and family planning clinics are generally closed. Availability from community pharmacies, many of which are open on weekends and have extended opening hours, will ensure continuity of treatment for women who have run out of their contraceptive pill.

"The reclassification will also provide women with a complete solution at the time of a pharmacy-held ECP consultation if necessary, provided they have previously been prescribed the oral contraceptive within the last three years.

"We thank Green Cross Health and Natalie Gauld Limited for their efforts in driving this initiative and look forward to learning more about the training and accreditation process."


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