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Over the Counter morning after pill opposed

Irish Times 15/05/2006

Some two thirds of patients say the 'morning after' pill should be made available in the republic without prescription, prize winning research presented at the annual meeting of the Irish College of General Practitioners has found.  But 67% of doctors said the pill should NOT be available over the counter.

Dr Fionuala Murphy, a registrar with the Cork general practice training scheme also asked 170 patients whether the efectiveness of the morning after pill was related to when it was taken.  Some 88% of correspondants correctly said the pill's  efficiency was related to time.  And 91%, half of whom were aged less than 30, knew the morning after pill offered no protection against STI's. 

The doctors surveyed said they mainly prescribed emergency contraception to teenagers and women aged between 20 and 30. Asked why they did not agree with the over the counter availability of the morning after pill, doctors said, to do so would mean losing the opportunity to educate patients about the risk of STD's.

Meanwhile separate research carried out by Dr Joan Mulqueen and her colleagues of the Western training programme in general practice   has found that almost one in 10 family doctors were carriers of Methicillin Resistant Staph (MRSA) In the first study of MRSA nasal carriage rates among GP's in the republic, some 7.7 per cent of the 78 doctors surveyed tested positive for the so-called superbug.