Levonorgestrel, marketed commercially as “Plan B” and commonly known as the morning-after pill, can legally be sold without a prescription in Costa Rica.
The decree of venta libre was published this week in official government newspaper La Gaceta. It makes Levonorgestrel an over-the-counter drug available in pharmacies nationwide.
The Ministry of Health had approved the drug for use in Costa Rica on April 25, 2019.
“The Ministry of Health issues a decree allowing the acquisition of Levonorgestrel in pharmacies without a prescription,” the organization said. “In this way, users will be able to acquire the medication quickly and in a timely manner with pharmaceutical advice.”
Levonorgestrel should be used “within 72 hours after unprotected sexual intercourse or the failure of a contraceptive method.”
Legalization of the morning-after pill as an accessible emergency contraceptive has been years in the making for Costa Rica.
In 2014, lawmakers of the Legislative Assembly’s Human Rights Commission first approved the drafting of a bill that would allow the use of the emergency contraception method, but only with a doctor’s prescription.