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Pop festival will have after-sex pill on sale.

Byline: Emma Pinch

The morning-after pill is to be made available to women attending the biggest pop festival in the Midlands.

An independent pharmaceutical company which specialises in providing medical services at outdoor events, has put the drug, called Levonelle, on sale at V2002.

But the move has outraged critics who say it could encourage risky sexual behaviour among young women attending the twoday event in the grounds of Weston Hall, Staffordshire.

Manufacturers Schering and mobile pharmacy Medicine Man have joined together to provide the drug, on sale for pounds 19.99.

They claim taking the pill to festivals is to raise awareness of the range of services pharmacies offer, including providing the morning-after pill without the intervention of a doctor.

Recently the Society for Protection of the Unborn Child (SPUC) lost a High Court bid to block the over-the-counter sales of the morning-after pill and were ordered to pay pounds 100,000 legal costs for the Government and Schering.

A festival 'survival guide' produced by Medicine Man says Levonelle will be available 'in case your contraception lets you down in a moment of festival passion'.

Medicine Man owner, pharmacist James Powell, said the services they offered were the same as in any high street pharmacy.

'We have been at the Virgin concerts since 1999 and this year one of the things available is emergency contraception.

'There are strict protocols attached to selling the morning after pill and proof of age is always needed.

He said the guide was aimed at informing festival goers about the rapid care a pharmacist could offer, in an approachable way.

A spokesman for the Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child said the promotion was motivated by business interests.

'We are not anti-enterprise but to be selling highly powerful hormonal drugs to young people who might be depressed or euphoric or otherwise vulnerable is something we are against lock stock and barrel,' he said.

'Selling the morning after pill at an event like this might encourage a more casual attitude towards towards sexual intercourse, and contribute towards the spread of sexual disease.'
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:May 10, 2002
Words:349
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