Emergency contraceptive availability by country

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The following is a list of countries that allow access to dedicated-purpose emergency contraceptive pills.



In Albania, Postinor-2 is available over-the-counter. Norlevo is de facto sold without a prescription.[1]


In Austria, ECPs are available without prescription in pharmacies.


In Bulgaria, levonorgestrel-only emergency contraceptive (Escapelle) is available over-the counter without a prescription in pharmacies.


In Cyprus, emergency contraception (Levonorgestrel 1.5 mg - Norlevo 1 dose) is available over-the-counter without prescription in pharmacies.

Czech Republic[edit]

In the Czech Republic, Postinor-2 is available at pharmacies over the counter to anyone without an age limit.[2]


NorLevo is available over the counter.


In Estonia, it is available over the counter without prescription under the name Escapelle (one-dose package) and Postinor-DUO (two-dose package).


The Yuzpe regimen was introduced under the name Neoprimavlar in 1987.
In 2002 levonorgestrel-only emergency contraceptive (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.[3]
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 emergency contraception. [4]


In Germany, until March 2015 emergency contraception was available by prescription only. There are Levonorgestrel and Ulipristal pills available. Following a January 2015 EU commission decision to make Ulipristal an over-the-counter emergency contraceptive, it as well as Levonorgestrel were made available OTC in German effective March 15, 2015.[5] Girls aged 14 and older can acquire them in pharmacies without parental consent.[6] They continue to be covered by health insurance for girls and women aged 20 and younger.[5] Pharmacies/pharmaceutical companies are neither allowed to advertise for the pill nor to sell it via mail order or the internet.[7]


In Greece emergency contraception is available in pharmacies and formally requires prescription, but de facto is sold in pharmacies over-the-counter.


In Hungary emergency contraception is available in pharmacies after a medical prescription or in hospitals.


In Ireland, doctors (general practitioners and family planning clinics) can issue prescriptions for levonorgestrel and IUDs.[8]

On 12 January 2011, the morning after pill became available over-the-counter without a prescription from Boots pharmacies.[9]

Shortly afterwards, on 15 February 2011, the NorLevo morning after pill became available from all pharmacies over-the-counter without prescription. It is available without consultation and there is no age restriction.

A survey in May 2011 showed that 85% of pharmacists have been asked for the morning after pill since it became available over-the-counter.[10]


In Italy emergency contraception is available in pharmacies and hospitals. It does not require a medical prescription.


In Latvia, it is available over the counter without prescription under the name Escapelle, Lenostella (one-dose package) and Postinor-DUO (two-dose package), and also ElleOne since 2017.


Postinor and, since 2003, Postinor-2 are available over-the-counter without a prescription in pharmacies.


Since January 2005, levonorgestrel-only emergency contraceptive (NorLevo 1.5 mg) has been available over-the-counter without a prescription in pharmacies and drug stores.


NorLevo is available over-the-counter.


Postinor-2 and Escapelle are available by medical prescription. Doctors and pharmacists can refuse to give a perscription on moral grounds.


Costs roughly €12 when purchased at pharmacies without prescription. Can also be obtained free of charge at public family planning centres. [11]


In Romania emergency contraceptive pills are sold over the counter.[12]


In Russia emergency contraception formally requires prescription, but de facto is sold in pharmacies over-the-counter.


In Slovakia levonorgestrel-only emergency contraceptive (Escapelle) is available over-the-counter without a prescription in pharmacies.


In Spain it is available without restriction, and is available over-the counter with no visit to a doctor. The Spanish Government approved the measure to make the pill available over the counter in pharmacies without prescription and with no age restrictions in August 2009.[13]


In Sweden it is available over the counter without prescription under the names Norlevo and Postinor at Apoteket .[14] It is also provided at hospitals and clinics.[15]


Since 2002, emergency contraception is available over-the-counter without a prescription at any pharmacy in Switzerland.


NorLevo is available over-the-counter in practically all Turkish pharmacies. The cost is currently (as of February 2009) 16 Turkish lira.

United Kingdom[edit]

Since 2001, the primary emergency contraceptive available over the counter in pharmacies in the UK has been Levonelle One Step—a single-dose progestin-only treatment. This can be sold over the counter for personal use to anyone over 16 [16] and it is also available free of charge from health professionals to all ages.

North America[edit]


Plan B is available over-the-counter in most Canadian provinces and territories. Plan B is kept behind the counter in Saskatchewan, and is available under prescription by a pharmacist in Quebec.[17]

United States[edit]

In 1999, the progestin-only Plan B (two 750 µg levonorgestrel pills) became available with a prescription.[18] This form has been replaced by the manufacturer, Teva, with Plan B One-Step (one 1.5 mg levonorgestrel pill).[19] In 2009, a generic version of the original two-pill version of Plan B became available, called Next Choice (manufactured by Watson).[20]

Emergency contraception became available without prescription to men and women over 18 in 2006. As of April 2009, Plan B was available from pharmacies staffed by a licensed pharmacist to men and women 17 or older; women 16 and under required a prescription.[21]

On April 5, 2013, Judge Edward R. Korman in Brooklyn, New York, ordered the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to make the morning-after birth control pill available to people of any age without a prescription. The order overturned a 2011 decision by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to require a prescription for girls under 17. Korman ordered the F.D.A. to lift any age and sale restrictions on Plan B One-Step, and its generic versions, within 30 days.[22]

South America[edit]


Emkit DS (Levnorgesterel Emergency Contraceptives) are freely available at Bolivia.


Progestin-only emergency contraceptive pills are available for free at most public hospitals [23]


Progestin-only emergency contraceptive pills are available for free at all public hospitals in Buenos Aires.[24]


Postinor-2 (a progestin-only emergency contraceptive) became legal in Chile in 2002 after a Supreme Court battle.[25][26] 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 emergency contraception if they were sexual assault victims.[27] In 2006, access to emergency contraception was briefly allowed for all females 14 and over, but this was immediately blocked by a court decision.[28] Months later an Appeals Court upheld a lower court decision to allow the Ministry of Health to distribute emergency contraceptives to minors without parental consent.[29] In April, 2008, Chile's Constitutional Court ruled free distribution of emergency contraceptives illegal. Constitutional Court rulings cannot be appealed.

In this scenario, the government of Michelle Bachelet decided to present a bill that would allow distribution. In 2010 after an intense legislative debate, came into force the Morning After Pill Law, which set the rules on information, advice and services relating to fertility regulation, allowing the free distribution of the pill in all country public clinics. The law enables the distribution of emergency contraceptives to minors without parental consent. The official, whether of public or private health system, must inform the parent of the child after the delivery of the pill.[30]

Since September 2015, Levonorgestrel ( 0,75 mg and 1,5 mg) is available from pharmacies without prescription.[31]


Emkit and Emkit DS, manufactured by ZAFA Pharmaceutical is the most common emergency contraception brand in Peru and freely available anywhere in the country.


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.[32]



Postinor became available in 1997.


The emergency contraception is legal in Morocco since 2008.

South Africa[edit]

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

A single tablet levonorgestrel emergency contraception product, called Escapelle became available in March 2008.[33]


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


Levonorgestrel-only emergency contraceptive is available over-the counter. One trade name is Contraplan-2


Levonorgestrel-only emergency contraceptive is available over-the counter, though it may not be available in many pharmacies, especially outside the capital. One trade name is NorLevo.



Emcon 1, manufactured and distributed by Renata Limited.


Anordrin, an estrogenic steroid of the 19-Norandrostane family, was the most frequently used emergency contraceptive in China in 1997.[34] Levonorgestrel emergency contraception in China is known as Yu Ting (毓婷 ; pinyin : Yùtíng) and An Ting (安婷 ; pinyin : Āntíng). In 2002, China became the first country in which mifepristone was registered for use as an emergency contraceptive.


On December 25, 2010, Japan's Ministry of Health announced that levonorgestrel would be approved for use in the near future.[35] A levonorgestrel product named "Norurebo" (ノルレボ) was released on May 24, 2011.[36]


The Indian Medical Association advises that high doses of combined oral contraceptive containing ethinylestradiol and levonorgestrel (Yuzpe regimen) and copper releasing IUDs such as CuT 380A can be used as emergency contraceptive, but the Drug Controller of India has only approved (in 2001) levonorgestrel 0.75 mg. tablets for use as emergency contraceptive pills. On August 31, 2005, nonprescription, over-the-counter access to levonorgestrel-only emergency contraception was approved.


I-Pill is available over-the-counter at most large pharmacies.


Postinor-2 and Postinor New are available over-the-counter in Israel.[37]


Postinor was registered in 1987.


Emkit (2 tablets dose of Emergency Contraceptive) and Emkit DS (Single Tablet dose of Oral Contraceptive) is manufactured by ZAFA Pharmaceuticals at Pakistan and is freely available all over the country.

Saudi Arabia[edit]

Postinor-2 is available in Saudi Arabia.[37]

South Korea[edit]

Postinor, Norlevo, Ella are available, requires prescription.


Plan B are available with prescription at most private practice. [38]

Sri Lanka[edit]

The Family Planning Association began offering the Yuzpe regimen in 1994.

Postinor is readily available over-the-counter in pharmacies.


Postinor is readily available over-the-counter in pharmacies such as Boots.



Postinor-2 and Levonelle-2 (progestin-only emergency contraceptive) became available in 2002. In 2004, Postinor-2 became available without prescription. Medicines that contain levonorgestrel are available from chemists over the counter but require the patient to answer a few short questions from the attending pharmacist about previous use and time since intercourse. Emergency contraception is also available in hospitals, family planning and women's health centres.[39][40][41] In 2016, EllaOne (ulipristal acetate) became available prescription-only.

New Zealand[edit]

Levonelle and Postinor-2 are available from pharmacies without prescription.


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