June 2023. Health authorities in Japan announced the piloting of a new modality to dispense emergency contraception (EC) pills through pharmacies.
Until now a prescription from a gynecologist was required to buy an EC pill. Only LNG EC pills are available in Japan. The pill and the consultation with the doctor (which is mandatory) cost around 100 €. LNG ECPs in the United Kingdom, where the consultation with a pharmacist is also mandatory, can cost between 11 and 15 €.
Under the new modality that will be tested, qualified pharmacists that have nearby obstetrics and gynaecology clinics they can consult or refer, will be able to sell EC pills without a prescription.
Local advocates have been working for along time to make EC pills more accessible and affordable to women in Japan. In 2021 Reproductive Rights for Japan translated into Japanese and published the EC pills Medical and Service Delivery Guidance, published in 2018 by the International Federation of Obstetrics and Gynecology the International Consortium for Emergency Contraception.
Read more on The Japan Times.