Boots has issued an apology saying it’s “truly sorry” for the way it has handled calls to cut the price of the morning-after pill.
The high street chemist faced criticism for selling the emergency contraception for almost £15 more than rivals. With Labour MPs, including Jess Phillips, condemning the retailer’s “unacceptable” moral position as dropping the price could incentivise its use.
Currently charging £28.25 for Levonelle emergency contraceptive, and £26.75 for its own version, Boots has said it is “committed” to looking into cheaper alternatives with Tesco charging £13.50 for Levonelle and Superdrug £13.49 for a generic product.
A Boots spokesperson commented: “Pharmacy and care for customers are at the heart of everything we do and as such we are truly sorry that our poor choice of words in describing our position on emergency hormonal contraception (EHC) has caused offence and misunderstanding, and we sincerely apologise.”
In defending the price, Boots said it was based on the cost of progestogen-based medicine and consultations its pharmacists carried out with women.
Launched by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) the group said it was “delighted” by Boots’ apology and pledge to drop the cost. Clare Murphy, BPAS director of external affairs, commented: “We look forward to learning what the next steps will be and the time-frame for these changes.”
An open letter, organised by Labour’s Phillips, mounted pressure on Boots this week claiming the justification for the price “infantilises women, Boots’ largest customer base, and suggests Boots takes a moral position against women’s choice which is unacceptable”.