Students have reported being affected by shortages of all types of oral contraceptive pills.
According to Pharmac, Noriday, Microlut, Norimin and Marvelon pills have been affected by global shortages and discontinuations this year. Some pharmacies in Auckland have had to limit supply to one-month, or in some cases even one-week.
Eva*, a University of Auckland Politics and International Relations student, told Craccum that she has been having trouble being able to obtain her full prescription. The contraceptive pill was prescribed to her to treat her endometriosis, a disorder where tissue that normally lines the uterus is found outside the uterus. “I’ve been back to the pharmacy twice in the last two weeks and still haven’t been able to get any more. I was given a one-month supply last time I went. I understand it’s not the pharmacist’s fault but it is frustrating.”
“I do worry that I might end up in a situation where I don’t have any pills left and can’t get into the pharmacy, and that I could end up in pain.”
Birth control rationing has been taking place since May this year. While Pharmac reports that supply of the Noriday pill has returned to normal, Microlut is still at a shortage. The Norimin pill has been continually affected by international manufacturing issues, which New Zealand Doctor reports has been worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. Supplier Pfizer has advised that current stock has run out, but more will be available by mid-October.
The contraceptive pill is a common and effective method of contraception. Family Planning New Zealand states that in normal cases, the combined oral contraceptive pill is 92% effective, but this can increase to 99% if taken “correctly and continuously”.
*Name has been changed to protect student’s identity