Boots has cut down the price of its generic brand of Emergency Hormonal Contraception (EHC) Levonorgestrel from £26.75 to £15.99.

Fulfilled commitment

A Boots UK Spokesperson said that last year, Boots ‘committed to delivering a less expensive EHC service to enable them to make a privately funded EHC service more accessible for their customers’.

They said: ‘We’re pleased to confirm that from this week, this service will be available in all of our 2,400 Boots Pharmacies across the UK.

‘We’d like to thank our customers for their patience.

‘It was always our intention to ensure that when we launched this service it was done well, and with sufficient, sustainable supply so that women would be able to access it both now and in the future.’

High prices

In 2017, the charity British Pregnancy Advisory Service (bpas) launched a Just Say Non campaign, calling on major retailers to lower the prices of emergency contraception.

As a result, Superdrug and Tesco halved their prices, selling the morning-after pill for around £13. Boots didn’t agree to follow the move.

There are currently 1,758 Boots stores offering a free NHS EHC service in the country.

The cheaper generic is meant to ‘help improve women’s access to the service in areas where it’s not available or restricted’, said Boots.

Too expensive

The bpas argues that even if this is ‘good news for women, emergency remains more expensive in the UK than many other European countries, and is still twice the price of what women in France are charged’.

British women pay up to £30 for a pill that costs around €7 in France (£6).

A bpas spokesperson said: ‘We believe the mandatory consultation women must undergo, for which there is no clinical justification, remains a key barrier to women accessing this extremely safe medication and is often one of the reasons given for the price remaining comparatively high.

‘We will continue our campaign to ensure women’s access to emergency contraception – which gives them a second chance of avoiding an unwanted pregnancy – is as swift and affordable as possible.’

bpas provides healthcare services to women such as pregnancy counselling, abortion care and miscarriage management and contraception advice.