EllaOne®, “the emergency contraceptive pill”, has recently become available without a prescription in France and other European countries. The argument put forward in support of the sale of EllaOne® is its efficacy compared to the “morning after pill”, Norlevo®.
However, this argument is contested. Based on “independent studies” published in the Prescrire journal in 2009, an article by Libération conveyed the mixed opinions regarding this latest approach. For Bruno Toussaint, Director of Prescrire, “the situation is very clear – it’s all about marketing. On the one hand we have a known medicinal product with generics and, on the other hand, a newer product that is patented”.
As far as Véronique Séhier, Joint Chairperson of Family Planning is concerned, “its market launch does not really constitute a requirement”. Last but not least, for Séverine Auriol, a gynaecologist in a Family Planning centre, “the medical service provided is of minor importance”.
Nevertheless, the European Commission’s decision has already been applied in Poland, Italy, Greece, Croatia and Germany – countries where emergency contraception is not available without a prescription.
 Market launch date of EllaOne®