Boots are being urged to drop the surcharges on emergency contraception.
Boots currently charge £28.25 for Levonelle emergency contraceptive and £26.75 for its own version.
Superdrug and Tesco have already reduced the cost of their contraceptives to £13.50 – half the price charged in Boots stores – after BPAS wrote to ask them to review their pricing and offer women a more affordable product.
The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) and the Women’s Equality Party are now urging the retailer to cut the high price of its emergency contraceptive pills.
However, Boots have so far refused to lower the cost of emergency contraceptives. The retailer believes that lowering the price would mean complaints from those who oppose women using emergency contraception.
Emergency contraceptives are available for free from contraception clinics, NHS walk-in centres, sexual health clinics and some pharmacies. If you are over 16, you can also buy emergency contraceptives from most pharmacies and some private clinics.
Clare Murphy, Director of External Affairs at the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, said, “It’s brilliant to see Superdrug and Tesco leading the way on this issue, providing women with an affordable product which they can use when their regular method lets them down.”
“Improving women’s access to emergency contraception – including reducing the price – improves women’s physical and mental wellbeing, enabling them to avoid an unwanted pregnancy, which can pose a serious risk to their health.”
“Most people believe women should be able to access emergency contraception from pharmacies at an affordable price.”
“We urge Boots to listen to them, reconsider their stance, and do the right thing by the women who shop in their stores everyday.”
“Boots need to drop this hugely sexist surcharge.”
Leader of the Women’s Equality Party, Sophie Walker added, “Women should be able to access emergency contraception without being ripped off.”
“We know that emergency contraception can be difficult to access for free on the NHS, with appointments at GP surgeries or family planning clinics hard to obtain.”
“Many women will need to buy these pills over the counter, and it is irresponsible and exploitative for retailers to charge over the odds for them.”
“This lack of consistency in the provision of women’s contraception threatens to undermine our reproductive rights and Boots’ approach to this concern is indicative of a society that prioritises profit over women’s health and wellbeing.”