bpas to Boots: "Push the morning after-pill or else"
21 July 2017
Bpas is demanding Boots charge less for the morning-after pill.
BPAS is encouraging the public to boycott high-street retailer Boots after they refused to follow Tesco's and Superdrug in slashing the price of the morning after pill.
Scroll down to hear SPUC's Alithea Williams discussing this story on the radio!
The abortion provider wrote to retailers asking them to lower the price of the "emergency contraceptive", arguing that it is much cheaper in European countries. Boots charges £28.25 for Levonelle emergency contraceptive (the leading brand) and £26.75 for its own generic version. Tesco now charges £13.50 for Levonelle and Superdrug £13.49 for a generic version.
In a reply to bpas, Marc Donovan, chief pharmacist of Boots UK, said: "We would not want to be accused of incentivising inappropriate use, and provoking complaints, by significantly reducing the price of this product." He also pointed out that it is already available for free in community pharmacies and NHS services.
Bpas said that said deliberately setting the price high to prevent women from using it regularly was both "patronising and insulting", and called for a boycott. Female Labour MPs have since joined the calls, and have written to Mr Donovan to express "deep concern" at the company's stance.
Interestingly, Boots' letter said its stance was based partly on the communications it receives from people who oppose the morning-after pill. "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."
What's in the morning-after pill?
The drug used in Plan B, Levonorgestrel, is a progestin, and it is not known exactly how it works. There is debate on whether 'emergency contraceptives' are abortifacient, and if so, how often, but information on the drug says that it may alter the lining of the uterus to prevent implantation should fertilization occur.
Medical information also says it should not be used repeatedly, and studies have linked use to increased risk of blood clots and ectopic pregnancy. It is currently UK law that a consultation with a pharmacist takes place when the pill is sold, to ensure it is safe for the woman - but bpas wants to scrap this too.
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