Guidance for Pharmacists on Safe Supply of Non-Prescription Levonorgestrel 1500mcg for Emergency Hormonal Contraception

This guidance sets out the issues to be considered by pharmacists in ensuring the safe supply of Levonorgestrel 1500mcg tablets to patients.

Guidance for Pharmacists on Safe Supply of Non-Prescription Levonorgestrel 1500mcg for Emergency Hormonal Contraception pdf cover

Certain formulations of Levonorgestrel 1500mcg, when used as Emergency Hormonal Contraception, are licensed for supply by pharmacists to patients without a prescription. 

This guidance sets out the issues to be considered by pharmacists in ensuring the safe supply of Levonorgestrel 1500mcg tablets to patients.  

Pharmacists practice within a robust regulatory framework which requires that the practice by a pharmacist of his/her profession must be directed toward maintaining and improving the health, wellbeing, care and safety of patients. Pharmacists should use their professional skills, competence, and specialised knowledge, to encourage the rational and safe use of medicines. They are also required to provide a proper standard of care to those to whom they provide professional services.  

The supply of non-prescription medicines by a pharmacist must also comply with regulation 10 of the Regulation of Retail Pharmacy Businesses Regulations 2008 (S.I. No. 488 of 2008) which states that, in relation to the sale or supply of any non-prescription medicine, a registered pharmacist must be satisfied that the purchaser is aware of the appropriate use of the medicine, that it is being sought for that purpose and that it is not intended for abuse and/or misuse.  

Due to the nature of these medicines and associated patient counselling requirements, a private consultation between the pharmacist and the individual patient herself is required to determine the appropriateness of the supply and provide an opportunity to meet the appropriate patient counselling requirements. This consultation should take place in the pharmacy’s patient consultation area.