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“Pill afterwards”: Rapid sales growth after prescription approval
Since mid-March, it is possible to dispense the morning-after pill in Germany without a prescription. The pill can be taken after unprotected intercourse to prevent fertilization. Sales figures have skyrocketed since the prescription was released.
Sales increased rapidly since prescription was released After the prescription requirement was lifted, sales of the “morning-after pill” in Germany rose rapidly. According to a message from the news agency dts, the branch service "Apotheke Adhoc" reported that in the first week after the release alone, almost a third more packages were dispensed than usual. According to figures from the market research company IMS Health, 13,500 packs of the "morning-after pill" were delivered to the pharmacies in the 12th calendar week. Projected over the whole month, this corresponds to 54,000 packs. If you compare the figures with those of March 2014, when 41,000 packages were delivered, there is an increase of 31 percent.
Manufacturer sees great growth potential However, the manufacturer HRA Pharma expects lower growth over the course of the year, despite the marked increase. According to HRA Germany boss Klaus Czort, more was to be expected in the beginning of March due to the great public attention, but the curve would flatten out. However, he sees growth potential for the future. In Germany, for example, there is a need for risk situations - including all types of contraceptive failure and unprotected traffic - of 2.4 million packages a year. With the last 400,000 packs a year, according to Czort, this is still very far away.
Controversial discussions for years The issue of the morning after pill had led to controversial discussions until Germany was obliged to release it under EU law. Two active ingredients are now available without a prescription, but according to the information, so far only EllaOne (Ulipristal) has been given in self-medication. The "Bavarian Radio" (BR) had reported on the preparations a few weeks ago. Accordingly, the earlier they are taken, the more effective they are. It should also be noted that the effectiveness of the preparations decreases with overweight. The active ingredient Ulipristal loses its effect from a body weight of 95 kilograms, as the "BR" reported, citing the professional associations of gynecologists.
Possible interactions and side effects There are also possible interactions with other medications, such as antibiotics, antidepressants, antiepileptics or St. John's wort preparations. It was also reported that three out of 100 women experienced pregnancy despite taking the active substances and that side effects such as headache, dizziness, lower abdominal pain, bleeding, nausea and vomiting can occur. If women vomit after ingestion, repeated use is recommended. According to "BR", the price of the pill is between 16 and 18 euros. If a prescription is available, the costs for young women up to the age of 20 are covered by the health insurance. (ad)
> Image: Wilhelmine Wulff / pixelio.de