Morning after pill which can be taken 5 days after sex to go on sale without prescription
Women who want the pill - which will cost £30 - will have to speak to the pharmacist before it is dispensed, but will not have to see a doctor.
The drug will be available through the Co-Operative Pharmacy chain, who say it is offering it to women to give them 'greater choice'.
The Daily Telegraph reports that critics of the move say the five-day-after pill will simply encourage 'a more casual attitude to sex' and contribute to increased cases of sexually transmitted diseases.
The ellaOne pill prevents ovulation and fertilisation and works by making the womb lining less receptive to a fertilised egg. It is said to be more effective than the Levonelle morning after pill, which can only be taken three days after sex.
Figures show that 250,000 women use emergency contraception every year, mainly funded by the NHS.
Speaking to the Telegraph, Jane Devenish, the clinical service pharmacist for the Co-Operative Pharmacy said she knew it was an 'emotive subject' but said that the company believed that offering the service was an 'important step' in giving women 'a wider choice of emergency contraception in a community pharmacy to enable them to make an informed decision'.
She added that it was not the company place to 'make a judgement on people's motives or lifestyles and there can be numerous reasons for seeking medical help'.