Oral Contraceptives

New Zealand women to have access to regular repeat supplies of oral contraceptives directly from their community pharmacist.

With the Ministry of Health’s Medicines Classification Committee’s latest recommendation, our local community pharmacists will be able to provide repeat supplies of selected oral contraceptives to women previously prescribed so by their doctor.

The Society welcomes this decision to enable our community pharmacists to provide another beneficial healthcare service for women in addition to the provision of emergency contraception and treatment of urinary tract infections. The training and accreditation process for this new service will ensure pharmacists provide continued supply of the oral contraceptive safely and appropriately, while ensuring links to general practice are supported.

On behalf of all its pharmacist members, the Society thanks the team at GreenCross Health and Natalie Gauld Ltd for the determination to enable the provision of more convenient access to medication and health professional advice for women in New Zealand.

Update February 2nd

Society welcomes NZMA decision not to appeal OC reclassifictaion

“The Society applauds the New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA) decision not to appeal the reclassification of a range of oral contraceptives” say President Graeme Smith following the release of the minutes of the most recent meeting of the Medicines Reclassification Committee.

NZMA Chair, Dr Steven Childs was quoted in NZ Doctor as saying the reclassification was “a fair call” whilst noting that the NZMA is “pleased about the convenience the decision offers”.NZMA has opposed previous proposals to reclassify oral contraceptives where the pharmacist was involved in the initiation of therapy.

Mr Smith believes the change, where pharmacists may supply some oral contraceptives to women who have had them prescribed by a GP in the preceding three years is consistent with the principles of 20/20 Vision document jointly signed in 2013 by the Society and NZMA.

“We look forward to working with our medical colleagues to provide a service that will improve access for a significant group of patients” says Graeme. Mr Smith notes the concerns expressed by doctors regarding a potential loss of opportunities to screen for other conditions.

“The assessment tool that has been developed as part of the pharmacist training for ongoing patient monitoring has included input from a range of specialist and should go some way to addressing these concerns,” Graeme says.