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NICE calls for young women to have morning-after pill at home



By Gareth Iacobucci

Teenagers and young women should be encouraged to stock up on supplies of the morning-after pill in advance in case of emergencies, NICE has advised.

New draft guidance from the advisory body recommend that GPs, nurses and pharmacists should ‘ensure all young women are able to obtain free emergency hormonal contraception, including advance provision’.

NICE said the draft guidance, issued for public consultation today, aims to ensure all young people can access contraceptive services at ‘convenient, accessible locations so no-one is denied services because of where they live’, such as city centres, colleges and schools.

It also said young women should be advised that emergency contraception is more effective the sooner it is used, and also warned it may not work.

Dr Gillian Leng, NICE deputy chief executive, said: ‘This draft guidance responds to a real need to improve existing contraceptive services, making it easier for young people, especially the most disadvantaged, to get the right information, advice and treatment at the right time.’

Penny Barber, chief executive, of the Brook advisory centre in Birmingham, who helped develop the guidance, said: ‘We know emergency contraception is more effective the sooner you use it after sex, so it’s crucial young women have it on hand in case they need it.

‘Evidence demonstrates that making emergency contraception available in advance does not change the amount of sex young people have.’

New draft guidance from NICE says young women should be encouraged to keep the morning-after pill at home in case they need it New draft guidance from NICE says young women should be encouraged to keep the morning-after pill at home in case they need it