By Lilian Anekwe
Most of the women using a pilot scheme where pharmacists prescribe oral contraception are using the pill for the first time and have not been seen by their GP.
Several hundred women have been issued prescriptions for the contraceptive pill over the counter at pharmacists, under a new pilot scheme in three PCTs in south London with some of the highest rates of teenage pregnancy in the country.
Over the first six months of the pilot, more than one hundred women have been issued prescriptions for combined oral contraceptives and progesterone-only contraceptives, under a patient group direction.
The preliminary figures show that two-thirds of the women who have used the service have never been issued any contraception before and have not been seen by their GP.
A spokesperson for NHS Southwark said the pilot had provided a convenient options for women who do not access contraception via their GP to, and added that the pilot could be extended to other areas.
Pharmacists in the pilot can prescribe the contraceptive pill