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Boots staff 'harassed' by morning-after pill campaigners

BBC News

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.

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This California university has a vending machine that sells the morning-after pill

Los Angeles Times

Students at UC Davis can now purchase emergency contraception from a campus vending machine. The machine, installed at the school's Activities and Recreation Center over spring break, dispenses the morning-after pill as well as condoms, pregnancy tests, tampons and over-the-counter medication such as Advil. With the "Wellness to Go" machine, UC Davis joined a handful of other universities across the country that offer the morning-after pill outside the school health center. Both Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania and Pomona College in Claremont sell the pill in vending machines. "I believe most of the college students are sexually active on college campus, which means we should have more resources and more talk on these issues, decreasing the stigma," said senior Parteek Singh, 21, who spearheaded the move to install the vending machine.

The papers: First class travel and Boots boycott call

BBC News

A plan to scrap first class compartments on commuter trains is the lead for the Daily Telegraph. The paper has an interview with Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, who uses the train to get to his Whitehall office. He says he understands what a pain it is for passengers to stand in packed standard-class carriages, while first-class compartments are empty. The Telegraph says it first highlighted the issue of half-empty first class carriages on packed commuter trains in 2013 and it thinks scrapping them is "a first class idea". The Daily Mail leads on the row between Boots and a number of female Labour MPs over the chain's refusal to cut the price of the morning-after pill.

Boots apologises for morning-after pill response

BBC News

Boots has said it is "truly sorry" for its response to calls to cut the cost of one of its morning-after pills. The pharmaceutical company was criticised after telling the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) it was avoiding "incentivising inappropriate use". It now says it is looking for cheaper alternatives to the Levonelle brand. The firm said it "sincerely" apologised for its "poor choice of words" over the emergency contraception pricing. The progestogen-based drug Levonelle costs £28.25 in Boots, with a non-branded equivalent priced at £26.75.