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FESTIVAL FROLICS; Gigs spark morning-after pill demand.

Byline: DECLAN BRENNAN

HORNY couples getting it on at boozy festivals has resulted in a huge demand for the morningafter pill, pharmacists revealed. Chemists have reported a spike in customers looking for the emergency contraceptive during and after festivals.

More than 85% of pharmacists have been asked by customers for the Emergency Hormonal Contraceptive Pill. And they have said that the crisis medication - which reduces the chance of pregnancy after sex - is in greater demand after boozy festivals.

Irish Pharmacists Union president Darragh O'Loughlin said: "The demand for the pill is there throughout the week but it is certainly skewed towards weekends. And anecdotally our members have noticed that on the weekends when there is a festival in town there is a spike in the demand for the emergency contraceptive."

Up until February the emergency contraceptive drug, NorLevo, could only be bought after getting a costly prescription from a GP.

But a decision by the Irish Medicines Board has meant that it can now be sold over the counter in all pharmacies.

Pharmacies are free to set their own price for the drug, with some outlets charging just EUR9.99.

Mr. O'Loughlin revealed pharmacists campaigned to make the contraceptive more freely available because they noticed how much couples needed it on weekends. The survey by the IPU of more than 200 pharmacists revealed 85% have been asked for the Emergency Hormonal Contraceptive Pill since the medication became widely available through pharmacies last February.

The study found the medication was most in demand with younger patients aged 20 to 25 although patients from 16 to 40 years have looked for the pill.

Ann-Marie Horan, pharmacist from Forfield Pharmacy in Tereneure, Dublin, said: "This medication will not be dispensed without a thorough consultation with the pharmacist.

"This clearly is a responsible approach to an important aspect of sexual health for women."

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 7, 2011
Words:313
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