The morning after pill Norlevo, is causing some controversy as this drug is sold over the counter in pharmacies across the TRNC.
However such unrestricted access is causing major differences of opinion between the Health Ministry, pharmacists, obstetricians and women’s rights activists.
In Turkey, a similar drug, Nivotel used to be sold across the counter but now requires a doctor’s prescription.
Here in the TRNC, the Director of the Pharmaceutical department within the Ministry of Health, Ayden Kutalp feels that prescriptions should be required.
However this view is opposed by the Head of the Pharmacists Association, Fatma Azgin, obstetrician consultant Munur Sago and women’s activist leader Fezal Nizam. They appreciate that frequent use of Norlevo does carry risks for the takers health but feel that this is small compared to the risks of having an abortion.
It is claimed that Norlevo is a hormone drug and like all similar drugs, frequent usage raises the risks to women’s health. However, supporters of its unrestricted sale feel that if taken no more than once a month, these risks are minimal.