Chlamydia treatment reclassification improves care for patients.

Today's decision by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to approve the reclassification of azithromycin for the treatment of chlamydia infection will mean convenient and effective care for patients, said the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (RPSGB). Azithromycin, currently licensed as a prescription-only medicine, is expected to be available for sale from pharmacies without a prescription later this year.

Azithromycin is the first oral antibiotic to be approved for reclassification. It will be available for people 16 years and over if they have tested positive for the infection through an approved standard test and have no symptoms. It will also be available for their sexual partners. Howard Duff, RPSGB’s Director for England, said: “Pharmacists already play an important role in the provision of sexual health services, and have done so for many years. Reclassifying azithromycin will expand on existing services and improve access to chlamydia screening and treatment for patients.

"Chlamydia infection rates are increasing, particularly in those under 25 years of age. The development of appropriate sexual health services for this group should result in higher rates of detection of sexually transmitted infections and improved awareness of the importance of practising safe sex."

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