LIFESTYLE

Morning After Pill 'Five Times More Expensive' In Britain Than Other Parts Of Europe

'All manner of medications are on the shelf. So why not emergency contraception?'

09/05/2016 09:58

The morning after pill costs up to five times more to purchase in Britain compared to other areas of Europe.

According to research from the European Consortium for Emergency Contraception, the pill can be bought for as little as £5.50 in France, but it can set women back as much as £31.60 when purchased from pharmacies in Britain.

Experts have called for the cost of the pill to be reduced in the UK to make it more accessible to women.

Some have also suggested the pill should be available to buy "off the shelf". Currently, women must have a short consultation with a pharmacist before receiving emergency contraception in the UK. 

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"Emergency contraception is a safe and effective way to prevent an unplanned pregnancy but the current framework in Britain is insulting, expensive and does not meet women's needs," Anne Furedi from the British Pregnancy Advisory Service said, according to The Independent.

"Condoms are on the shelf. Sex toys are on the shelf. All manner of medications are on the shelf. So why not emergency contraception?

"As a society we embrace sex for pleasure, but expect women to march a walk of shame, and pay through the nose ... when things go awry, as they occasionally do."

According to the latest study, the UK is the country in the EU with the highest proportion of women who have used emergency contraception at 61%. In the majority of EU countries the figure is about 20%.

Germany is the country with the lowest proportion of women who have used emergency contraception at 13%.

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