Boots has been accused of refusing to cut the cost of one of its morning-after pills for fear of criticism from campaigners. The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), which provides abortion care, wants Boots and other pharmacies to reduce the cost of emergency contraception Levonelle. Boots told the BPAS it wanted to avoid "incentivising inappropriate use". The company said it was "disappointed by the focus" BPAS had taken. Currently, the progestogen-based drug Levonelle costs £28.25 in Boots, and its non-branded equivalent is £26.75.
Boots has accused a pregnancy charity of encouraging the "harassment" of its senior employees in a dispute over the cost of its morning-after pills. Lawyers for Boots said the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) helped supporters to send a "torrent of personal abuse" to members of staff. Members of the public contacted Boots using an online form provided by BPAS. Boots has cut the cost of its emergency contraception following criticism from BPAS and some MPs. The pharmacy said it would offer a £15.99 alternative to Levonelle, which costs £28.25, and a Boots-branded £26.75 pill, from next month.
An online pharmacy is planning to use drones to deliver the morning-after pill and Viagra following successful UK trials. MedExpress is in talks with the independent regulator for pharmacy services to dispatch medicines and the contraceptive nationwide. The company says the service will be particularly useful for people living in remote areas. They have offered assurances that the products will be delivered discreetly with purchases details blacked out on sales records and bank accounts. One challenge MedExpress faces is delivering medication safely and at temperatures that do not interfere with the drugs' effectiveness.
The morning after pill has never been more accessible. Women in the UK are now able to order emergency contraception online for home delivery. It marks a milestone - less than two decades ago, it was not possible to buy it in pharmacies. Medicine historian Dr Jesse Olszynko-Gryn said there were parallels between the journey of the morning-after pill and home-pregnancy tests, as both have moved from "medically controlled to increasingly available". When the first over-the-counter pregnancy test was launched in 1971 - (it involved a test tube in which a woman had to mix her urine and wait two hours) - it was "controversial", said Dr Olszynko-Gryn, from the University of Strathclyde.