This is how it should be:
Women will soon be able to get the morning after pill delivered by courier to their home or office.
7:30AM BST 17 Apr 2012
A new service will allow women to order emergency contraception on the internet, so it arrives within two hours, rather than having to see their GP to obtain the drugs.
Critics argue that it will encourage under age sex by making it too easy to obtain the morning after pill.
For £20, women will be able to order the drugs by filling out an online form through the internet medical practice DrEd.com.
The forms, which ask users to confirm they are aged over 18, will be assessed by doctors before pills are dispatched by courier.
Pills can be delivered within two hours on a normal working day, although it may also be possible for women to order online overnight for delivery the following morning.
Amit Khutti, founder of DrEd, said young girls would be deterred because dates of birth were requested during registration and patients needed a credit card.
He said: “I don’t think this service is going to appeal to minors or encourage under age sex.
“For a start, you need to pay for the service and if you’re young there are a number of places you can already get the morning after pill free.
“Emergency contraception works better the sooner you take it, so having it delivered within two hours will make it more likely to be effective.”
Mr Khutti said that previously the company could only offer emergency contraception in advance online because of problems ensuring it arrived in time to work – it is most effective within 36 hours of having sex.
He said: “It’s not ethical to provide a service that arrives too late.”
The courier service will begin in London this month but will be extended to other cities if it proves successful.
Mr Khutti added: “It will arrive at the office in discreet packaging so women won’t be embarrassed. Socially, some people are still put off by having to answer questions face to face about why they need emergency contraception.”
Norman Wells, from the Family Education Trust, said girls could easily lie about their age to access the pills and it should remain a prescription-only drug.
He said: “Since the morning-after pill was first approved for use in the UK, various schemes have been introduced to make it more widely and more easily available, yet the international research evidence continues to show that making it more readily available has not succeeded in reducing unintended pregnancy and abortion rates.
“Instead, young people in particular have been lulled into a false sense of security, take a more casual attitude to sex, and become exposed to an increased risk of sexually transmitted infections.”
Pharmacies already offer the morning-after pill over the counter for around £25.
In 2010/11 about 120,000 morning after pills were prescribed to reduce the workload of GPs.
The British Pregnancy Advisory Service has an online service which allows women to request emergency contraception and stock up in advance.
They speak to a nurse over the phone before it is delivered free of charge to their home.
Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, has previously criticised that scheme, saying he would prefer pills to be issued after a face – to – face consultations with medical professionals.