An online pharmacy has announced it’s offering the morning after pill for £4.99.
Chemist-4-U’s director and pharmacist, Shamir Patel, said he “firmly believes” in offering emergency contraception with as low a mark-up as possible, to make the pill accessible to all.
The idea is that women order it as an “advanced supply” and keep it in the cupboard, just in case.
Some campaigners slammed the move, saying it’s “misleading women into thinking this is routine contraception”, but the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) has since labelled the criticism as “nonsense”.
In the past few months, major pharmacies and providers have significantly reduced the price of the emergency contraceptive.
Back in June, Superdrug dropped the price of its own-brand pill to £13.49, shortly after Tesco followed suit, charging £13.50 for Levonelle. Boots eventually announced it would cut the cost of its generic emergency contraceptive from £26 to £15.99.
Chemist-4-U’s contraceptive is the cheapest to be retailed in the UK.
Shamir Patel said: “We believe healthcare should be affordable, and the morning after pill is not an expensive product to produce. It is our belief that a reasonable price point for online is £4.99 with £1.99 postage.
“We always advise women in an emergency situation, to go to their nearest pharmacy that day, rather than waiting a day to receive it from an online pharmacy.
“However our belief is, an advanced supply from us avoids the panic in the unlikely event of barrier method failure. We advise all patients that EHC should not be used as a regular contraceptive method.”
Despite this advisory, some are unimpressed with Chemist-4-U’s move.
Josephine Quintavelle, from Comment on Reproductive Ethics, told The Telegraph: “These are really serious drugs – it worries me that even regardless of the moral issues, selling at these prices and without proper consultation is misleading women into thinking this is routine contraception, and something that can be treated casually.”
But a spokesperson for BPAS branded her comments as “nonsense”.
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“Progestogen-based emergency contraception is extremely safe, and is widely available to buy straight off the shelf without consultation in countries across Europe and North America,” BPAS told HuffPost UK.
“We commend Chemist-4-U in providing women with an affordable product, and absolutely agree that it makes sense for women to have a tablet at home – just in case – particularly if they are relying on condoms as their primary form …
Source:: The Huffington Post – UK Lifestyle