Japan Panel OKs Online Prescription of Contraceptives

Society Lifestyle Politics

Tokyo, June 11 (Jiji Press)--A Japanese health ministry study panel has decided to allow the prescription of emergency contraceptive pills via the Internet in a move that would help prevent victims of sex crimes from becoming pregnant.

To this end, the ministry is expected to revise the existing guidelines on online medical practices as early as next month.

According to the study panel's draft of the revised guidelines compiled on Monday, women who need the morning-after pill are first required to contact a women's counseling center in each prefecture, which will refer them to a medical institution where they can see a doctor.

However, in cases where there are no doctors available nearby or the woman feels a psychological burden about seeing a doctor in person, the emergency contraceptive can be prescribed via the Internet, the draft said.

Women using the service need to take the online prescription to a pharmacy and are required to take the pill on the spot in the presence of a pharmacist in order to prevent resale of the drug. Only one pill will be prescribed at a time.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press