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Chlamydia drug over the counter

6th August 2008

An antibiotic to combat a sexually transmitted disease is to be made available through pharmacists later this year without a prescription.

People aged 16 and over will be able to buy Clamelle, which treats Chlamydia.

They will be able to obtain it after testing positive for the infection, or having sex with someone who tests positive for Chlamydia, a diseases which can cause problems such as infertility.

While the drug will still be available through GPs or genito-urinary clinics, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and pharmacists say the reclassification of the drug in the UK as an "over the counter" medicine will offer a more convenient alternative for some patients.

To be able to buy the drug, a patient must be able to provide evidence they have Chlamydia such as a letter giving the results of either a postal test kit or a test carried out in a surgery or clinic.

Dr June Raine from the MHRA said: "Chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the UK, and up to 70% of people who have it have no symptoms and could therefore remain undiagnosed.

"We are keen to support the availability of more medicines over the counter, where it is safe to do so."

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has backed the move, saying it will "improve access to Chlamydia screening and treatment for patients."

The sexual health charity FPA described the move as a "really positive step forward" for people who are already testing themselves at home.

 

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