Two primary care trusts in London are to trial the provision of oral contraception without a prescription next year, reports have revealed.
At present, women require a prescription before they can obtain the Pill, but ministers are keen to make it easier for women to prevent unwanted pregnancies.
The morning-after-pill is already available from pharmacies without a doctor's involvement and, if the new pilots in London prove a success, the Pill could soon be available in a similar way.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Health said that the strategic health authorities involved in the pilots would provide regular updates on the success of the schemes.
She noted: "Any woman who receives contraception from a pharmacy without a prescription can still expect a full consultation with a health professional such as pharmacist or a nurse."
The Pill has been available in a variety of forms since 1961 in Great Britain and is used by around two thirds of 20 to 24-year-olds.
Independent advice on private healthcare