Boots Sorry For ‘Poor Choice Of Words’ Over Morning After Pill Boycott

Morning After Pill
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Boots have been forced to apologise for its moralising and, let’s be honest, completely ridiculous statement explaining that they wouldn’t reduce the price of the morning after pill  because the company felt it would encourage “inappropriate use”.

The high street pharmacist we supposedly love and trust admitted that they had used a “poor choice of words” and said it was “truly sorry” for the offence it caused thousands of customers for its original statement

Let’s a take a look at the contents of the letter from Boots UK’s chief pharmacist Marc Donovan to the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), who had successfully campaigned for Superdrug and Tesco to cut the price of the pill to £13.49 to allow more women to be able to access emergency contraception:

“In our experience the subject of emergency hormonal contraception polarises public opinion and we receive frequent contact from individuals who voice their disapproval of the fact that the company chooses to provide this service.

“We would not want to be accused of incentivising inappropriate use, and provoking complaints, by significantly reducing the price of this product.”

We are far from the first to point out that no one actually wants to be in a position where they have to take the hormonal bomb that is the morning after pill, let alone go through the rigmorale of loudly discussing a questionable night of sex in front of a queue of nosey customers. When accidents happen and we do need to use the morning after pill, we could also do without a judge-y pharmacist looking down their nose at us.

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Many called for an outright boycott on Boots, using the hashtag #JustSayNon, following the awareness campaign the BPAS launched to highlight the difference between pill costs in the UK and in France, where it costs just £5.

It’s worth reminding ourselves that we can get the morning after pill for free from GPs or NHS sexual health clinics IF we aren’t restricted by the opening hours, getting an appointment in time or taking transport there. Of course, taking the pill as close to having unprotected sex as possible makes it more effective. No contraception is 100 per cent guaranteed to be effective, but if taken within the first 72 hours since intercourse, it can significantly reduce the likelihood of pregnancy. For many women, therefore, the free options aren’t always possible.

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Now, the drug Superdrug announced it would sell more cheaply at £13.49 is Ezinelle, which contains the same active ingredient, levonorgestrel, as other well-known brands, like Levonelle, which Tesco is similarly selling for £13.50.

Despite this, Boots added that the price of its morning after pill “is determined by the cost of the medicine and the cost of the pharmacy consultation”. So, if we’ve done our maths right, that short red-faced conversation with a stranger sets you back at least £12. However, Boots added that the company was “committed” to sourcing a less expensive version of the pill it is currently selling to make it “even more accessible”.

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They are yet to release any further details as to a timescale for this change, or to confirm the price lowering.

We hope this debacle serves as a warning to other companies. Women’s health is a medical issue, not a moral one. Do not treat our symptoms with judgement or disdain, but do your jobs and let us start treatment as and when we need it.

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