One of the largest pharmacy chains in Britain will be offering the 'five-day after' contraceptive pill without the need for a prescription.
Known as EllaOne, the pill will be available over the counter at the Co-Operative Pharmacy chain for £30. The pill works by preventing ovulation and fertilization and weakens the lining of the womb so as to make it less receptive to fertilized egg and can be taken up to five days after unprotected sex.
Co-Operative Pharmacy's decision to offer the pills without prescription has attracted criticism with protesters claiming that it will lead to a more casual attitude towards sex while some quarters as also alleging that it could be seen as a form of early abortion.
However the criticism was rejected by the pharmacy chain with Jane Devenish, clinical service pharmacist for the chain, saying, "We believe that this service will be an important step to offer women access to a wider choice of emergency contraception in a community pharmacy to enable them to make an informed decision. It is not our place to make a judgment on people's motives or lifestyles and there can be numerous reasons for seeking medical help."