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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.[1]
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. [2]


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.[3]


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,[4] but it is relatively easy to buy it without such a document.

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.[5]

North America

United States

Since 1999, the progestin-only Plan B (two 750 µg levonorgestrel pills) has been available with a prescription.[6] 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.[7][8]


Since 2005, Plan B has been available nationwide through nonprescription behind-the-counter pharmacy access after professional consultation with a pharmacist.[9]


New Zealand

In 1996, PC4, a Yuzpe regimen, was approved for unrestricted over the counter access. The manufacturer (Schering) withdrew PC4 from the New Zealand market shortly thereafter.[10] [11]


Postinor-2 and Levonelle-2 (progestin-only EC) became available in 2002. In 2004, Postinor-2 became available without prescription.[12]



Anordrin, an estrogenic steroid of the 19-Norandrostane family, was the most frequently used EC in China in 1997.[13] 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.

Sri 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.[1]


Postinor-2 (a progestin-only EC) became legal in Chile in 2002 after a Supreme Court battle.[14] [15] 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.[16] In 2006, access to EC was briefly allowed for all females 14 and over, but this was immediately blocked by a court decision. [17] Months later an Appeals Court upheld a lower court decision to allow the Ministry of Health to distribute EC to minors without parental consent.[18]


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. [19]


South Africa

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


Postinor became available in 1997. It is currently supplied by Datmas Kenya Limited,,, & Target-reach solutions company limited,,


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

See also

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Emergency_contraceptive_availability_by_country". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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