TGA rejects over the counter access to oral contraception

21 Oct 2021

The AMA has welcomed the TGA’s interim decision rejecting over the counter access to oral contraception, and the confirmation of the essential role of GPs in prescribing medications.

This interim decision preserves safe access to these medicines and ensures people can come to informed decisions about the best contraception for their needs, as part of a holistic approach to care.

In the interim report the TGA said the complexity of prescribing and risk factors necessitated regular medical reviews with a GP even after initial consultation. GPs are qualified to find the most appropriate form of contraception for a patient, which may not even be an oral contraceptive pill.

AMA President Dr Omar Khorshid said if accepted by the TGA it would mean the compromise of patient safety and quality of care.

“This interim decision gives us confidence women’s health is being taken seriously with the continuation of appropriate medical settings for consultations and prescribing,” he said.

“Retail pharmacies are not appropriate private clinical settings for anyone to monitor and manage their contraceptive health, or to discuss details of sexual health and medical history.

Dr Khorshid said the AMA’s concerns outlined in its submission to the TGA, had also been reflected by the TGA’s Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling and the Delegate of the Secretary.

He said there were already mechanisms in place if a person needed an urgent prescription or emergency contraception, such as telehealth, ePrescribing, and emergency pharmacy supply.