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British Journal of Family Planning. 1984 Jul; 10(37):37.This editorial takes a broad, international look at the worldwide implications of decisions taken in the United Kingdom (U.K.) and the US with regard to family planning. National authorities, like the U.K. Committee for Safety of Medicines (CSM) of the US Food and Drug Administration, address issues concerning the safety of pharmaceutical products in terms of risk/benefit ratios applicable in their countries. International repercussions of US and U.K. decision making must be considered, especially in the area of pharmaceutical products, where they have an important world leadership role. Much of the adverse publicity of the use of Depo-Provera has focused on the fact that it was not approved for longterm use in the U.K. and the US. It is not equally known that the CSM, IPPF and WHO recommeded approval, but were overruled by the licensing agencies. The controversy caused by the Lancet articles of Professors with family planning doctors. At present several family planning issues in the U.K., such as contraception for minors, have implications for other countries. A campaign is being undertaken to enforce 'Squeal' laws in the U.K. and the US requiring parental consent for their teenagers under 16 to use contraceptives. In some developing countries, urbanization heightens the problem of adolescent sexuality. Carefully designed adolescent programs, stressing the need for adequate counseling, are needed. Many issues of international interest go unnoticed in the U.K. International agencies, like the WHO and UNiCEF, have embarked on a global program to promote lactation both for its benficial effects on an infant's growth and development and for birth spacing effects. It may be of benefit to family planning professionals in the U.K. to pay attention to international activity in such issues.