Boots has this afternoon announced it will sell a lower cost version of progestogen-based emergency contraception (EC) across its 2,500 stores from October. The store currently sells 2 versions – Levonelle, for £28.25 and its own generic for £26.75. A further generic will be sold for £15.99.
Thousands of people had written to Boots imploring it to reduce the price of emergency contraception after competitor stores, including Tesco and Superdrug, cut the price of Levonelle – or a generic version – to £13.50 earlier in the year. Boots had initially said they would be keeping the price high in order to prevent “inappropriate use” by women and to prevent complaints by those opposed to women using emergency contraception. Other pharmacies, including Morrisons and Asda, are also now selling emergency contraception at £13.50, and Lloyds announced in July it would sell a cheaper version from September.
The announcement of the new Boots price came after bpas issued a statement detailing Boots’ decision to hire celebrity law firm Schillings to accuse bpas of harassment over emails it had received asking the company to cut the price. People writing to Boots senior executives through the bpas campaign for more affordable contraception included women who needed to use EC in a range of circumstances, from being the victim of sexual assault to having missed a pill, as well as pharmacists, GPs, and other healthcare professionals who had seen women with unwanted pregnancies as a result of struggling to access EC, and also lifelong customers.
In a statement this afternoon, Boots said it had listened to its customers’ feedback and had already started providing a cheaper version of emergency contraception in some stores, and planned to make this version widely available in October. However at the same time it issued bpas with another legal warning, demanding that the charity withdraw its press release detailing the company’s previous legal warning.
Clare Murphy, Director of External Affairs at bpas said: “We are pleased to see that in future Boots will be providing a cheaper emergency contraceptive product across its stores nationwide. We are extremely saddened that Boots feels the need to resort to legal warnings against a charity representing the concerns of women in the process.”
For more information please contact the bpas press office on 0207 061 3377, 07788 725185 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The British Pregnancy Advisory Service is a charity which sees more than 70,000 women a year and provides reproductive healthcare services including pregnancy counselling, abortion care, miscarriage management and contraception, at clinics across the UK. It supports and advocates for reproductive choice.