New recommendations on EC dispensing

ECEC brings together key stakeholders to foster a common vision of how evidence- and rights-based dispensing of emergency contraception (EC) should be in over-the-counter (OTC) and behind-the-counter (BTC) settings, where different EC pills are available directly from community pharmacies.

September 2023. Two years ago, ECEC and YouAct conducted a participatory survey, to better understand access to emergency contraception (EC) through community pharmacies in Europe. The survey findings suggested that important differences persist and that access to the highest standard of care in post-coital contraception remains uneven within and among countries. The full report is available here.

In follow up, the European Society of Contraception and Reproductive Health (ESC), the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), and the European Consortium for Emergency Contraception, are pleased to announce the launch of a consensus statement recommending best practices for EC dispensing in community pharmacies, based on evidence and on human rights.

With Dispensing emergency contraceptive pills according to the evidence and human rights: the role of pharmacists, the subscribing organizations aim to:

  • Contribute to standardize access to high quality EC services within and across European states, and beyond.
  • Provide basic recommendations for EC dispensing in pharmacy settings, according to the best evidence available and to human rights principles.

In February 2024, the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) endorsed the consensus statement. With this work, FIP, ESC, FIGO, IPPF and ECEC want to support states and public authorities in their responsibility to implement the European Parliament resolution of 24 June 2021 on the situation of sexual and reproductive health and rights in the EU, in the frame of women’s health (Par. 32), with regards to:

  • Providing evidence-based, accurate information about contraception;
  • Tackling and dispelling barriers, myths, stigma and misconceptions; and
  • Providing high-quality modern contraceptive counselling in line with WHO standards.

For questions or further information, please contact Download the document here.

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