Online contraceptive pill service launched

Women will be able to get the Pill online without having to visit their doctor under a new service being launched today.







The medical website DrThom is offering three months' supply for £29.99.



The service will initially be offered to women already on the Pill but will soon be expanded to those who have never taken it before.



A spokesman for the firm said patients will have to fill in a health questionnaire and can be asked follow-up questions by a doctor from the website.



But doctors will have to rely on patients accurately reflecting their medical history and telling the truth about other factors, including their age.



The questionnaire includes asking the woman about prior use of the Pill, any side-effects, pregnancy, family history of cancer and blood pressure, weight and height.



Patients wishing to get repeat prescriptions and those who have never taken the Pill before will have to provide specific details of their blood pressure reading.



A spokesman for the service said doctors will rely upon what the patient is telling them about their health, the same as with a face-to-face consultation.



But he said DrThom was unable to "verify anything independently" although it had decided to prescribe to women aged 18 and over.



"A woman has to say how old she is and as part of the registration and will have to supply their date of birth," he said. "But there's nothing to stop somebody who's, say, 17 lying about their age."



The IT system would pick up anybody registering as being under 18 and flag that up to staff, he said.



The credit or debit card also has to be in the patient's name.



"There's nothing to stop a patient lying when they use the service," the spokesman said, but said they were only doing a disservice to their own health by lying.



Women taking the most commonly prescribed combined Pill, containing oestrogens and progestogens, have a small risk of blood clots (also called thromboembolism).



Smoking increases the risk of blood clots as does smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure and a family history of clots.



Dr Thomas Van Every, DrThom's medical director, said: "The aim of our new contraceptive service is to make it easier and more convenient for women throughout the UK to get access to the Pill.



"Our specialist service is ideal for a woman living a long way from her GP or a woman who is too busy because of work or childcare to take the time to visit her GP.



"We see the DrThom service as part of an ongoing trend - a trend consistent with UK Government policy - to help women access contraceptive services as close to their home as possible."



A spokeswoman for the British Bankers' Association said some banks offered debit cards to 14-year-olds. The average age to get a card was around 16, she said.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Austen Lloyd: Private Client Solicitor - Oxford

    Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...

    Austen Lloyd: Clinical Negligence Associate / Partner - Bristol

    Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant - Solar Energy - OTE £50,000

    £15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...

    Recruitment Genius: Compute Engineer

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...

    Day In a Page

    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
    Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

    The geeks who rocked the world

    A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
    Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

    Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

    Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
    Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

    Growing mussels

    Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
    Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

    Diana Krall interview

    The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
    Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

    Pinstriped for action

    A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
    Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

    Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

    'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

    Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

    Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
    Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us