The Canadian National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities ruled last week that emergency contraception will be available over-the-counter in Canada. The Plan B pill previously had behind-the-counter status, and was available from pharmacies upon request and without a prescription, reports Reuters.
The decision makes Canada the fifth country in the world that allows women purchase a single dose of Plan B without speaking to a pharmacist first, according to Canwest News Service. Plan B is already available without a prescription and a medical consultation in Norway, the Netherlands, Sweden and India.
However, emergency contraception is not available over the counter in Quebec. According to the Gazette, women and girls seeking to obtain emergency contraception must consult with a pharmacist before buying it.
Emergency contraception was approved for over-the-counter sale in the US in 2006. Women over the age of 18 may purchase emergency contraception without a prescription if they provide proof of age. Women under the age of 18 must have a prescription.