Boots Go Back On Their Promise To Reduce Morning After Pill Prices
Boots has come under scrutiny after going back on a promise they made earlier in the year to offer a lower priced alternative to the morning after pills which they currently stock in store. The popular pharmacy was asked to make the change in July after they refused to lower the price of the brand they already had in stores for emergency contraception. They later promised that instead of this they would offer a cheaper alternative alongside their current brand.
However, 5 months later only 69 of its 2500 stores throughout the UK have actually stocked this new alternative. In the UK, 130 Labour MPs have written about their concern with the retailer’s decision. After asking the retailer the reason for this, they simply responded that they are doing all they can to roll out the service to every store in the country. In Scotland, the morning after pill is free of charge, and many people have been calling for this to be the case in the rest of the UK too.
In July, Boots faced public outrage after telling the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) that reducing the price of the pill could mean that people use it in the wrong way. The price of the pill back in July was £28.25. After receiving this public outcry from the media and the government, they promised to stock a cheaper pill which would retail at £15.99 instead.
Even though the retailer promised that they would indeed offer a cheaper alternative to all its stores by October, they still haven’t even scratched the surface and claim they are doing the best they can to increase supply of the reduced-price pill. However, many think it is hard to comprehend why they aren’t able to offer a cheaper price for the morning after pill when other retailers have already done this. Throughout the Christmas period, extending from December to January: it becomes increasingly harder for young women to access the support they need for unexpected pregnancy or concerns due to the holidays. And it is made even more difficult when the price of the pill they need is much higher than many can afford.
Boots however have insisted that the reason they have not rolled out the pill to all of their stores is due to a batch failure. And they say that they are working closely with MPs to make sure that emergency contraceptives are free for all women in the country. This still does not explain their reluctance to lower the price of their current morning after pill while the roll-out takes place.
This is not the first time that the retailer has come under fire in the last month. If you have heard of the YouTuber Zoella, you will know that she has a beauty brand which is sold in Superdrug and a lifestyle range which has hit stores in Boots for the Christmas period. One of her products however: the 12 Days Of Xmas advent calendar, has come under fire for offering subpar gifts for an extortionate price, leaving many parents out of pocket and their children disappointed. The calendar hit stores at a price of £50- and contains prizes like scented candles, cookie cutters and glitter. Many fans of the YouTuber were outraged by this and complained that she was exploiting her fan base: however, it emerged that Boots set the price themselves. After the whole scandal, the calendar is now on sale for £25 in store.
Emergency contraception at a glance
What is the morning after pill?
There are two different types of morning after pill, Levonelle and ellaOne. Levonelle must be taken within 72 hours of sexual intercourse, and ellaOne must be taken within 120 days of sexual intercourse. Both of them work by delaying the process of ovulation- meaning an egg is not released while the sperm are alive in the womb. The pill can be inserted into your uterus within five days of sexual intercourse and will stop the egg from being released into the womb and fertilised.
Both types of the pill are effective as long as they are used as soon as possible after having sexual relations. Both of the emergency contraceptive pills are 99% effective for preventing pregnancy. There are of course some side effect with using either of these pills: you may experience headaches, nausea, tender breasts or abdominal pain. If you do vomit within two hours of taking an emergency contraceptive pill, you need to seek medical advice as you may have to take another one.
Levonelle contains a chemical called levonorgestrel- which is a synthetic version of progesterone which is found naturally in our bodies. Progesterone plays a crucial role in ovulation as well as helping the uterus prepare for a fertilised egg. Levonelle delays or stops ovulation meaning that after sex, the sperm have nothing to fertilise.
ellaOne contains ulipristal acetate, a chemical which inhibits the function of progesterone. This means that the hormone cannot complete its normal function within the reproductive system and the process of ovulation is stopped in its tracks.
While both of these pills are effective after having unprotected sex, they do not work like a regular contraceptive pill- so they will not protect you against getting pregnant if you have sex after taking the pill. You will need to use another form of contraception such as condoms to protect you against pregnancy. You will not be able to take the contraceptive pill directly after the emergency contraceptives due to the hormones involved, however make sure to take a visit your local doctor to find out when you will be able to start using a contraceptive pill again.
Before you decide to use an emergency contraceptive pill you will need to know who is able to take it.
There are no strict regulations for who can or cannot take this pill- so it is safe for any user.
There are a few conditions where you cannot use this drug:
· People who have allergies to the ingredients of the drug
· People who suffer from asthma and take glucocorticoids (steroid) tablets
· People who have lactose metabolism issues