A low dose combined oral contraceptive pill is now fully funded for the first time in New Zealand.
The Government's drug-buying agency has approved the Ava 20 ED brand which is suitable for women who cannot take the more common higher dose contraceptive pills.
Pharmac medical director Peter Moody says about 16,000 women pay to use the low dose pill which up to now has been partially funded.
He expects more women will take it up now they have to pay only a prescription charge.
A higher-dose pill, Ava 30, made by the same company will also be fully funded.