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Contraceptive pill available on net

A new service has been launched which allows women to get the pill online without having to visit their doctor.

The medical website DrThom is initially offering women already on the pill a three months' supply for £29.99. The service 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 just prescribe to women aged 18 and over.

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Does this website sound like a good idea to you? Your comments: (Terms and conditions apply)

"Why would women want to pay for the ocp when it is freely available and there are enough fpc for women who work full time." - Jo Rothery, West Yorkshire

"I can't understand why anyone would want it if they were already assessed as safe to take the pill - it's already free to them, so they are just wasting money. I can only see the site as being a way for women denied the pill by their GP or family planning clinic, or youngsters, to get a supply by fibbing about details. So no, I do not think it's a god idea." - Sue Ussell-Taylor, Devon

"It sounds appalling and totally irresponsible! It may be OK for busy working women who can't get to a doctor, but if the website is relying on the applicants' honesty about their health status I think they are naive!" - Carol, Derbyshire

"Certainly not. Oral contraceptives taken are not without side-effects and potential for harm just who will take the blame if something goes wrong to an individual pill taker. Has the Health Secretary obtained the consent for liability from those companies that will issue the drug online?" - V Henry, N15

"Absolutely not. I've just had cause to change a woman from COCP to the POP because of risk factors. She was not at all happy. Something like this would mean that the guidelines could be ignored with patients lying about their age and smoking status in order to continue with the COCP because of their perception of the convenience of taking it." - Sarah Reed, Cornwall