The Ministry of Health approved today, Thursday, the health registration for Levonorgestrel, the so-called morning-after pill (pastilla del día después in Spanish), an emergency contraceptive that avoids pregnancies up 72 hours after unprotected sex, reducing the risk of pregnancy by up to 89%.
“After the review of the documents presented by the pharmaceutical company Geodon Ritcher PLC, the Ministry of Health approved the health registration of the drug Levonorgestrel,” the institution said in a statement.
The next step is for the pharmaceutical company to present the first batch of the drug to be analyzed in the Laboratorio de Análisis y Asesoría Farmacéutica de la Universidad de Costa Rica (UCR) – University of Costa Rica laboratory.
Once the first batch has been approved, it will be the pharmaceutical company Quinfica of Costa Rica for the introduction of the product in the country and its marketing.
Currently, in Costa Rica, there are only two types of sale of medication: “open sale”, which are drugs that are obtained without a prescription in pharmacies and supermarkets, and “under medical prescription” that can only be obtained at pharmacies with a prescription.
Health Minister Daniel Salas said that you don’t have to wait until the morning after sex to take the pill, in fact, levonorgestrel is more effective the sooner you take it.
Salas added that the the Ministry is working on a decree so that the drug can be sold at any pharmacy without the need for a prescription. In this way, the user will be able to acquire the medication quickly and in a timely manner with pharmaceutical advice, at the moment the company starts marketing it in Costa Rica.
WebMD says the emergency contraception should not be used as a routine method of birth control.