UK chemist cuts 'sexist surcharge' on morning-after pill

  • 02/09/2017
UK chemist cuts 'sexist surcharge' on morning-after pill
Photo credit: File

Top British pharmacy Boots has cut the price of morning after emergency contraceptive pills after coming under fire for refusing to reduce the cost of the medicine, initially saying it might be "misused or overused".

Morning after pills, which are most effective when taken in the first few hours after unprotected sex, are available without a prescription in most European Union countries but were selling for up to five times more in Britain than elsewhere in Europe.

The availability of the pills reflects recommendations from the European Medicines Agency, which says they can be used safely without a doctor's input and that removing the need for a prescription speeds access to the medicine.

A Boots spokeswoman said the pharmacy was now offering a new, less expensive generic version of the pill at about half the price.

"We're committed to listening to our customers on this important matter," the spokeswoman said in a statement.

Boots came under fire in July after healthcare charity British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), which provides abortion care services, urged the pharmacy to stop charging nearly £30 (NZ$54) for the pill, calling it prejudicial.

Rival pharmacy Superdrug and supermarket chain Tesco had recently halved the cost of the pill to about £13.50 (NZ$24).

BPAS welcomed Boots' decision on Friday to lower the price.

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