3 Feb 2011

Call to subsidise emergency pill

8:53 pm on 3 February 2011

A pharmacist is calling for the emergency contraceptive pill to be subsidised after free trials of the drug led to a reduction in teenage pregnancies and abortion.

The Mid-Central and Waikato district health boards fund the so-called "morning after" pill so women under 25 can get it from pharmacies for free.

Andrew Orange, pharmacy adviser for the Midcentral board, says that in the first year of the free service, the abortion rate fell by 7.5%. In Waikato, health professionals also noted a drop in unwanted pregnancies.

Dr Orange says many pharmacists previously found it difficult to turn away young women who could not afford the $35 pill.