HRA Pharma is celebrating the 1st anniversary of Hana, the first type of daily oral contraception available in the UK without a prescription.
The launch of Hana in 2021 followed the historic decision of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to grant a marketing authorization and marked a significant step forward in the women’s contraception category.
The company reports that pharmacists have embraced the reclassification and have found merit in using emergency contraception consultations as an opportunity to educate women on their over-the-counter contraception options.
Alison Slingsby, innovations project manager at HRA Pharma, commented: “We have been delighted with Hana’s reception – within weeks of launch, it quickly became the best-selling mini-pill without prescription, with more than 95 per cent market share, and has maintained this market leading position ever since. We previously had the experience of switching emergency contraceptive ellaOne to a P medicine, Hana is on track to match and eventually exceed the ellaOne volumes.
“Pharmacists have embraced the new challenge of supplying regular daily contraception over the counter, engaging well with our comprehensive training resources, which they report have given them the knowledge and confidence to have more conversations about regular contraception with women. For instance, we have seen that pharmacies have had success incorporating Hana within emergency contraception consultations.”
Kate, a pharmacist from Somerset, explained: “During emergency hormonal contraception (EHC) consults, it is very useful when we discuss regular contraception to give them something to take away and to give them information on what can be sorted without seeing their GP. I had one girl who came back for Hana after she used EllaOne.”
Stephanie, a 21-year-old Hana user, said finding the right contraception has been a long journey and visiting a GP can flare her anxiety.
“I found going to a GP quite daunting – any social interaction like that, the dentist, the opticians… I don’t enjoy it at all. I’ve tried most contraception methods other than the coil but have discovered Hana and it’s so convenient; it works for me and my body. I think there should be a lot more in-depth information about contraception. Talking about it is important!”
Despite the progress made with introducing Hana as another choice, consumer research conducted by HRA Pharma shows women’s lingering dissatisfaction with their contraception. One in 10 women admit they are not satisfied with their current contraception, with one third (32 per cent) saying they have been searching the best contraceptive option for years.
As a leader in female reproductive healthcare, HRA Pharma has been working to broaden women’s access to contraception worldwide since its inception in 1996. The company is dedicated to highlighting women’s contraceptive choice and improving access across the board, an aim which continues into Hana’s second year on the market.