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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Morning-after pill rule sparks privacy fears

By Xu Chi (Shanghai Daily)

10:43, December 29, 2011

BUYERS of the morning-after pill in two cities in southeastern Fujian Province have been told they have to give their real names when purchasing the drug that can prevent pregnancy after sex.

The move has sparked fears that people's privacy may be put at risk.

From this week, buyers of the emergency contraceptive will have to show their ID cards to pharmacy staff in Fuzhou and Sanming, the Southern Metropolis Daily reported yesterday.

According to a new rule issued by the cities' food and drug administration, pharmacies are required to record names and ID card numbers, and have to keep a record of quantities sold to each customer.

The regulation was issued to prevent the over-the-counter medicine from being used in unsafe and illegal abortions, officials told the newspaper.

But the move hasn't been well received by the public with some pharmacies complaining to Xiamen Daily that many residents were reluctant to show their ID cards.

"Some consumers gave up the purchasing after they are required to tell their names because it is not an 'honorable' thing to purchase morning-after pills in traditional Chinese thinking," a staff member at a Xiamen pharmacy told the newspaper.

"Under the regulation, we can't sell them the medicine if they don't provide their ID information," the assistant said.

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