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Desogestrel POM to P: for the few not the many?
  1. David Phizackerley1,
  2. Joanna Girling2,
  3. James A Cave3
  1. 1 DTB, BMJ Journals, London, UK
  2. 2 Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, West Middlesex University Hospital, Middlesex, UK
  3. 3 The Downland Practice, Berkshire, UK
  1. Correspondence to David Phizackerley, DTB, BMJ Journals, London, UK; dphizackerley{at}

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Until now, progestogen-only contraceptive pills (POPs) have been available as prescription-only medicines (POMs). Following a consultation process earlier in the year, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) announced that two products containing 75 mcg desogestrel will be available to purchase from community pharmacies ‘increasing choice for women in the ways in which they can access contraception’.1 Both products will be accompanied by training materials for pharmacy staff and a checklist for use during consultations. Desogestrel is regarded as safe for most women and few medical conditions restrict the use of POPs, although the summaries of product characteristics state that ‘safety and efficacy in adolescents below 18 years has not been established’.2–4

The reclassification of progestogen-only contraceptives as pharmacy …

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  • Competing interests None declared. Refer to the online supplementary files to view the ICMJE form(s).

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.