Morning after pill: British women forced to pay five times more than European peers for contraceptive

'As a society we embrace sex for pleasure, but expect women to march a walk of shame, and pay through the nose,' says the British Pregnancy Advisory Service

Matt Payton@paytesy89
Sunday 08 May 2016 13:00
comments
Ulpristal morning after pills costs £15.80 in France but £47.40 in the UK.
Ulpristal morning after pills costs £15.80 in France but £47.40 in the UK.

Women in Britain pay up to five times as much for the morning after pill than counterparts in Europe.

The pill can bought in France for as little as £5.50 whereas in in the UK, it can costs £31.60, according to research from the European Consortium for Emergency Contraception.

Experts have called on the government to reduce the price and remove the requirement in the UK for women to consult a pharmacist before buying emergency contraception.

Anne Furedi from the British Pregnancy Advisory Service said: "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.

"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."

The morning after pill is available in the UK in two forms: Levongestestrel (known as Levonelle) and Ulipristal (known as ellaOne).

Ulpristal costs £15.80 in France but £47.40 in the UK.

Around 61 per cent of all British women have used emergency contraception, the highest proportion in the European Union.

In the majority of EU countries, the figure is about 20 per cent with Germany with the lowest uptake of morning after pills at 13 per cent.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments