The UK megachain Boots wrote in a statement that it will not join Tesco and Superdrug in cutting down the price of the morning-after pill, saying they fear it would promote “inappropriate use.” However, Tesco and Superdrug decided to lower the prices of the emergency contraception in UK to be in line with those in rest of the Europe. Both Tesco and Superdrug reduced their prices to £13, which is half as much as before, after that, the British Pregnancy Advisory Service campaign #justsaynon encouraged Boots to do the same.
Chief pharmacist, Mark Donovan’s letter sent to BPAS, read the following:
“In our experience the subject of emergency hormonal contraception polarizes 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 incentivizing inappropriate use, and provoking complaints, by significantly reducing the price of this product.”
However, this has caused adverse response from the customers who are very enraged by this decision. There are many who say that women should “just go to Superdrug or Tesco if you don’t want to pay extra.” Although this sounds totally acceptable, this choice is not enabled to everyone. Not every woman lives in or near a big city that offers multiple options. This goes beyond women just finding a few extra pounds. This will affect the most vulnerable women, who could easily base their choice of buying or not on this £10
It looks like Boots is saying that it would rater not provoke or offend some people than give their customers the emergency contraception which they really need. Women need emergency contraception for a bunch of reasons, and their bodies are not here to be policed.
Although there is a way to get the pill for free, by visiting a GP and getting a prescription, it is not that effective as when bought. That is because first choice requires making an appointment and takes much longer time than just getting out to the nearest pharmacy and buying it right away. By making this decision, Boots is making a step backwards. And what do they mean by “inappropriate use” of contraception?
Lowering the price of emergency contraception to £13 won’t really make a bunch of females use that instead of other forms of birth control. What it will do is just secure those who get into situation that they need an emergency contraception and allow women to get the same level of care as women in the rest of Europe get.
BPAS’s #justsaynon campaign was joined by the Women’s Equality Party. It’s leader Sophie Walker said, “Boots’s approach to this concern is indicative of a society that prioritizes profit over women’s health and wellbeing.”