European Medicines Agency opines that “emergency contraception” is “safe” and should be prescription free

The European Medicines Agency’s advisory Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use has released an opinion according which HRA Pharma’s “morning-after” pill ellaOne (ulipristal acetate) should become available without the need for a prescription, starting in 2015.

On the basis of data collected over the last years, the EMA experts consider it can be assumed that the product is can be safely used without prescription. Moreover, it should be taken as soon as possible after sexual intercourse.

Authorization of the drug by EMA would have direct effect in all EU Member States, which would thus be prevented from subjecting it to a prescription regime at national level.

However, Member States remain free to totally prohibit the sale of this (or any other) product on the basis of considerations of public order. Like all so-called “morning-after” pills, ellaOne can function not only as a contraceptive (if conception has not yet taken place), but also as an abortifacient.

EMA and its expert committee do not deal with moral or public order issues. They only deal with the safety of medicinal products. In this case only with the pregnant woman’s safety, not with that of the child she might have conceived.

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