Emergency contraceptive availability by country

Emergency contraceptive availability by country

The following is a list of countries that allow access to dedicated-purpose emergency contraceptive pills.



The Yuzpe regimen was introduced under the name Neoprimavlar in 1987.
In 2002 levonorgestrel-only EC (NorLevo 750 µg) became available over-the-counter in pharmacies. Only restrictions are that it cannot be administered to under 15 year-olds and only single package can be purchased at a time. [cite web|title=News about the NorLevo becoming prescription-free|publisher=Finnish National Agency for Medicines|date=Jan 2002|accessdate=2007-01-05|url=http://www.nam.fi/ajankohtaista/uutiset/norlevo_lt.html]
Recently NorLevo 750 µg as a two-dose package has stepped aside from the NorLevo 1,5 mg single-dose package.


NorLevo, a two-dose progestin-only treatment, was approved in 1999, with nonprescription, pharmacy access. (France does not have an over-the-counter status equivalent.) In December 2000, public and parochial high school nurses were authorized to dispense EC. [cite web|title=Emergency contraception: Steps being taken to improve access|publisher=Guttmacher Institute|date=Dec 2002|accessdate=2006-11-11|url=http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/tgr/05/5/gr050510.html]


In Italy EC is available in pharmacies and hospitals, but it requires medical prescription.


In Ireland it is available without restriction, but is not available "over-the counter" and requires a visit to a doctor or family-planning clinic. [ [http://www.thinkcontraception.ie/emergency-contraception/ Irish Government Contraception site, noting the availability of EC] ]


Since January 2005, levonorgestrel-only EC (NorLevo 1.5 mg) has been available over-the-counter without a prescription in pharmacies and drug stores.


In Romania EC is available only in pharmacies and it legally requires a medical prescription, [cite web|title=Contracepţia de urgenţă|accessdate=2007-06-08|publisher=www.femeia.ro|url=http://www.femeia.ro/relatii-si-sex/contraceptie/contraceptia-de-urgenta.html] but it is relatively easy to buy it without such a document.


In Bulgaria levonorgestrel-only EC (Escapelle) is available over-the counter without a prescription in pharmacies.

United Kingdom

Since 2005, the primary EC available over the counter in pharmacies in the UK has been Levonelle One Step--a single-dose progestin-only treatment, available to over 16s. [cite web|title=Contraception: past, present and future|publisher=UK Family Planning Association|date=April, 2006|accessdate=2006-11-09|url=http://www.fpa.org.uk/about/info/contraceptionpastpresentandfuture.htm]

North America

United States

Since 1999, the progestin-only Plan B (two 750 µg levonorgestrel pills) has been available with a prescription. [cite web |author=FDA |month=Jul 28, |year=1999 |title=Plan B approval package |url=http://www.fda.gov/cder/foi/nda/99/21-045_PlanB.htm |accessdate=2006-12-10] Starting in late 2006, Plan B is available from pharmacies staffed by a licensed pharmacist for women 18 or older; a prescription-only form of Plan B will remain available for young women aged 17 and younger. [cite web |author=FDA |month=Aug 24, |year=2006 |title=Plan B information page |url=http://www.fda.gov/cder/drug/infopage/planB/default.htm |accessdate=2006-12-10] [cite web |author=Barr Pharmaceuticals |month=Nov 6, |year=2006 |title=Barr Launches Plan B OTC/Rx Dual-Label Product; Awarded 3 Years New Product Exclusivity |url=http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=60908&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=926964 |accessdate=2006-12-12]


Since 2005, Plan B has been available nationwide through nonprescription behind-the-counter pharmacy access after professional consultation with a pharmacist. [cite web|title=Health Canada Approves Emergency Contraceptive Plan B as OTC Drug|publisher=Medical News Today|year=Apr 22, 2005|accessdate=2006-09-25|url=http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=23275] Plan B will soon be available over-the-counter without requiring a consultation with a pharmacist. [cite web|title=Morning-After Pill Soon Available On Drug Store Shelves|publisher=CityNews|year=May 16, 2008|accessdate=2008-05-21|url=http://www.citynews.ca/news/news_22787.aspx]


New Zealand

Levonelle and Postinor-2 are available from pharmacies without prescription.


Postinor-2 and Levonelle-2 (progestin-only EC) became available in 2002. In 2004, Postinor-2 became available without prescription. [cite web|title=Emergency Contraception|publisher=FPA health|date=2006-07-30|accessdate=2006-11-15|url=http://www.fpahealth.org.au/sex-matters/factsheets/76.html]



Anordrin, an estrogenic steroid of the 19-Norandrostane family, was the most frequently used EC in China in 1997. [cite journal|author=Xiao B|title=Abortion and emergency contraception: the Chinese experience|journal=Chin Med J|year=1997|volume=110|issue=1|pmid=9594319|pages=36–42] Levonorgestrel EC in China is known as Yu-Ting and An Ting. In 2002, China became the first country in which mifepristone was registered for use as EC.


The Indian Medical Association advises that high doses of combined oral contraceptive containing ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel (Yuzpe regimen) and copper releasing IUDs such as CuT 380A can be used as EC, but the Drug Controller of India has only approved (in 2001) levonorgestrel 0.75 mg. tablets for use as ECP. On August 31, 2005, nonprescription, over-the-counter access to levonorgestrel-only EC was approved.

ri Lanka

The Family Planning Association began offering the Yuzpe regimen in 1994.


Postinor was registered in 1987.


Postinor is readily available over-the-counter in pharmacies such as Boots.

South America


Progestin-only EC pills are available for free at all public hospitals in Buenos Aires. [http://www.buenosaires.gov.ar/areas/salud/a_primaria/programas/s_sexual/ley_448.php?menu_id=19026]


Postinor-2 (a progestin-only EC) became legal in Chile in 2002 after a Supreme Court battle. [cite web|title=Chile bans morning-after pill|publisher=BBC News|date=2001-08-30|accessdate=2006-11-17|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/1517185.stm] [cite web|author=Eduardo Gallardo|title=Morning-After Pill Causes Furor in Chile|publisher=Washington Post|date=2006-09-26|accessdate=2006-11-16|url=http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/26/AR2006092600770.html] Affluent Chileans were able to purchase it on demand from private health services, but poorer Chileans served by the national health service were only given EC if they were sexual assault victims. [cite web|title=A difficult pill to swallow|publisher=Economist|date=Sept 14, 2006|accessdate=2006-11-17|url=http://www.economist.com/displayStory.cfm?story_id=7925036] In 2006, access to EC was briefly allowed for all females 14 and over, but this was immediately blocked by a court decision. [cite web|author=Daniela Estrada|title=Court Stops Free Distribution of "Morning After Pill"|publisher=IPS|date=Sept 13, 2006|accessdate=2006-11-17|url=http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=34712] Months later an Appeals Court upheld a lower court decision to allow the Ministry of Health to distribute EC to minors without parental consent. [cite web|title=Chile Court Okays Morning-After Pill|publisher=The Santiago Times|date=2006-11-13|accessdate=2006-11-17|url=http://www.tcgnews.com/santiagotimes/index.php?nav=story&story_id=12159&topic_id=15] . In April, 2008, Chile's Constitutional Court ruled EC illegal. Constitutional Court rulings cannot be appealed.


On May 23 2005, and after a couple of years available in the market, the Constitutional Court of Ecuador suspended the inscription and the sanitary permission of Postinor-2 that led it to be provided in drug stores and hospitals. [cite web|title=Constitutional Court suspends sale of 'morning-after pills'|publisher=El Comercio|date=May, 26 2006|accessdate=2007-05-01|url=http://www.elcomercio.com/solo_texto_search.asp?id_noticia=28306&anio=2006&mes=5&dia=26]


outh Africa

A Yuzpe product called E-Gen-C became available in 1997.

A single tablet Levonorgestrel EC product, called Escapelle became available in March 2008.http://www.mymorningafter.co.za/home.asp


Postinor became available in 1997.It is currently supplied by Datmas Kenya Limited,www.datmas.com,info@datmas.com, & Target-reach solutions company limited,www.target-reach.com,info@target-reach.com


Levonorgestrel-only EC called Lenor 72 was registered in 2002; in 2005 another levonorgestrel-only product called Pregnon was registered.

ee also

*Emergency contraception


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