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Ulipristal Acetate

Health written question – answered on 14th July 2014.

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Photo of Jim Dobbin Jim Dobbin Labour, Heywood and Middleton

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to ensure that drug retailers accurately describe the operations of their products; if he will require retailers of the drug Ulipristal acetate to detail accurately its abortifacient effects; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Norman Lamb Norman Lamb The Minister of State, Department of Health

Ulipristal acetate is the active ingredient in the emergency contraceptive known as EllaOne.

Following a High Court ruling in 2002, emergency contraception is defined as a method of contraception not abortion. The decision confirms the Government’s long held position that a pregnancy begins at implantation and not fertilisation. This judgment means that this position is now established in law and is not a matter of policy.

EllaOne is a contraceptive, it is not an abortifacient. It exerts its contraceptive action by preventing or delaying ovulation.

EllaOne is used to prevent pregnancy for up to five days after unprotected intercourse or contraceptive failure. It is specifically contraindicated for use during an existing or suspected pregnancy.

The information provided in each pack of EllaOne clearly informs women and health care professionals that it should not be taken by a woman who knows or suspects she is pregnant.

Does this answer the above question?

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