‘Morning after pill’ approved in Japan

The health ministry approved Japan’s first emergency contraceptive more than a decade after the so-called morning after drug debuted in Europe.

NorLevo will be sold in Japan beginning in May after it was approved by the ministry, the pill’s maker, Sosei Group Corp., said Wednesday.

The drug, used to prevent unwanted pregnancy, will be marketed by Aska Pharmaceutical Co., Sosei said. Its active ingredient, levonorgestrel, is listed as an essential medicine by the World Health Organization, the drugmaker said.

Access to the tablet may help reduce the abortion rate.

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