HL Deb 03 December 1974 vol 355 c183WA

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will continue to ensure that contraceptive drugs require prescriptions, and that adequate warnings are given concerning their possible side-effects, especially for those who have not reached physical maturity.


At present oral contraceptives are required under the Poisons Rules 1972 (SI 1972 No. 1939) to be sold by retail or supplied from a family planning clinic only on or in accordance with a prescription given by a qualified medical practitioner. The Medicines Commission's report onPrescription Only Medicines and Related Matters, published in 1973, proposed that this position should be maintained when an order is made under the provisions of Section 58 of the Medicines Act 1968 to replace the above Poisons Rules.

My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Social Services is considering recent suggestions that in certain circumstances oral contraceptives may be supplied by nurses.

It is the responsibility of the practitioner who prescribes the drug to decide whether information on the warnings and possible side effects should be given to the patient.