Christians angry over Boots' 'morning after' pill climb-down

Christians angry over Boots' 'morning after' pill climb-down July 24, 2017

In a shockingly badly-worded response to criticism over its overpriced ‘morning-after’ pills, Boots UK’s chief pharmacist Marc Donovan said the company did not want to be ‘accused of incentivising inappropriate use, and provoking complaints, by significantly reducing the price of this product ‘. 
This led to an immediate backlash. People threatened to boycott Boots for its refusal to drop the price of the pill, and the company was forced to back down. On Friday Boots has said it was “truly sorry” for the way it responded to a campaign calling for it to cut the price of emergency contraception and said it is now looking for cheaper alternatives.

The Christian Medical Fellowship said Boots had given in to a “cartel of radical feminist MPs”– and now risked encouraging a rise in sexually transmitted diseases.
Spokesman Dr Peter Saunders said Boots had “failed to support” Marc Donovan, who had put forward “legitimate” concerns about overuse of the pill.
This climb-down will no doubt also infuriate Alithea Williams, below, from the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) a “pro-life” group.
Earlier she told Premier that SPUC supported the retailer’s decision.

This is a serious drug which all advice says should not be used frequently. So the fact that Boots are not giving into pressure to make it more readily available. While they are willing to sell it which is not wonderful, at least they’re showing some sort of responsibility.

Currently, the progestogen-based drug Levonelle costs £28.25 in Boots, and its non-branded equivalent is £26.75.
But the branded drug costs £13.50 at Tesco and a generic version is £13.49 in Superdrug.
However, Superdrug charges £27 for Levonelle and £35 for an alternative emergency contraceptive pill, EllaOne.
When asked to explain their stance, Boots released a statement saying the price of emergency contraception included “a professional healthcare consultation”.

This consultation helps support customers in their choice by examining an individual’s full medical history and any potential drug interactions.

The climb-down came after a campaign led by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) and supported by female Labour MPs, two of whom backed calls for women to boycott the store over its stance.
Premier reported that, having forced Boots to back down, BPAS is now understood to be turning its fire on Lloyds Pharmacy, which has also refused to cut the cost of contraception.

BPAS said the chain was selling a non-branded version of the pill for £28.25, more than double that charged by other outlets.
Hat tip: BarrieJohn

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  • L.Long

    Now if Boots said …..we are a profit business and people are going to use this product so we will raise the price to the point that people refuse to spend, then lower the price to a point that people can tolerate, and make more profit! That I can believe. His BS excuse is nothing but self-righteous BS.

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  • Angela_K

    This is the same Boots who avoid tax by registering their business in Switzerland and is owned by the USA company Wallgreens.
    Typical reactionary comment by Christians who still want to control women’s bodies.

  • porko

    Guess what Boots have got … wait for it … wait for it.
    A Head of Religion – Ghada Beal. Now I wonder what she does?
    I dont have Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter or any other kind of stuff like that so I cant find anything else about her.

  • porko

    Frankly its an Effing Disgrace to charge desperate women and girls nearly £30 for such an item.
    And where ever the pious poke their noses sex is dirty and forbidden. Its much much better to teach children properly about sex and reproduction and desires and responsibility and contraception and diseases etc.
    The whole trouble with sex is that the pious have made it dirty and evil and shameful and nasty and sinful and forbidden and taboo and an issue over which they the pious control and excercise power over ordinary people.

  • CoastalMaineBird

    the pious have made it dirty and evil and shameful and nasty and sinful and forbidden and taboo
    And no one would care, except that they want to make EVERYBODY ELSE feel the same way.
    They only have the power that we give them, on a SILVER PLATTER, no less.

  • porko

    My advice … buy it on line … keep it in your hand bag. And boys, as well as a pack of three ribbed nunkies, why not carry a pack of these in your wallet just in case you and your girlfriend get carried away. Now thats being good to your girl. Unless of course she is a raving christian evangelist in which case she shouldnt be doing anything sinful which would put her in need of such stuff.
    I’ll not be using Boots again.

  • porko

    Premier Christianity Magazine published this story …
    Maybe they should stop and think why that is … and even read their own magazine for the answer …

  • porko
  • Broga

    @porko: Boots has a head of religion? As the man said, “You cannot be serious. They are a chemists.”
    Here we have Christians yet again trying to control the way people behave. And one thing they cannot tolerate is the thought that people have happy, worry free sex.
    They also, of course, attempt to stop the suffering terminally ill from finding peace in death. My sick and suffering Labrador got better treatment when the vet put him to sleep (the phrase is appropriate) than my sick and suffering mum got in her last months.

  • barriejohn

    Broga: No, they don’t! I think you’ll find that Ghada Beal, who often makes statements on their behalf, is Head of REGION at Boots:

  • Broga

    @barriejohn: Thanks. I can continue using the shop.

  • Mark Skid

    If men got pregnant, these pills would be free with breakfast cereal.

  • Club Secretary

    @ porko says:
    Mon 24 Jul 2017 at 1:00 pm
    Guess what Boots have got … wait for it … wait for it.
    A Head of Religion
    They obviously don’t have a Head of Ethics which is why they sell homeopathic woo pills.

  • 1859

    This is the last time I eat Boot’s breakfast cereal!!!!

  • StephenJP

    If they really believed that the morning-after pill was likely to “incentivise inappropriate use”, they would refuse to sell it. Wouldn’t they?
    More likely Boots just want to protect their revenue and profits, (a) by keeping the price as high as they can get away with, and (b) by not doing anything to upset the religious busybodies who they want to keep buying their makeup, toothpaste and hygienic douches. Might have been a bit of a miscalculation on their part.

  • Alan Crowe

    Boots here in Lerwick, and I suspect everywhere else, have a whole section dedicated to ‘alternative medicine’
    Fuck Boots, they get non of my money.

  • barriejohn

    Sir Jesse Boot was a Christian and philanthropist, but there is very little about him on the net (his father actually founded the company, but died when he was ten years old). The following is from a pathetic SPCK school assembly outline, but is quite interesting with regard to this thread:
    Just over a hundred years ago, most people could not afford medicines to treat common illnesses. As a consequence, many people died unnecessarily. One young man from Nottingham was very concerned about this. His name was Jesse Boot. He was a Christian who believed that it was wrong that doctors and chemists charged so much for their medicines. So when he opened his first chemist’s shop in Nottingham in 1877, he sold medicines at half price. This first shop was a great success, forcing other chemists to lower their prices too. Before long, there were Boots chemists all over the country and today the Boots logo can be seen in almost every town and city. Jesse Boot became a very wealthy man but he used much of his money to improve the lives and the health of people less fortunate than himself.
    Hmmm…as they say!

  • 1859

    Christians do good deeds to gain Brownie points for use in the afterlife – as they stand arguing to be let in at the pearly gates. I would much prefer a person who did good deeds because they simply wanted to improve the lives of those less fortunate than themselves – and do so for no reward at all. Doctors, Clowns without Borders – Altruism without Borders….one day perhaps.

  • Dionigi

    There are Boots outlets worldwide. I thought that the idea of large companies was to leverage lower prices from suppliers so that they could sell cheaper than their competitors. Boots appear to have reversed this idea. they are one of the most expensive outlets for any of their goods, not only drugs.
    In my local outlets, not in the uk, they are out priced by nearly every pharmacy, for drugs, and every supermarket for other products except for Watsons who seem to follow the same policy as Boots.

  • barriejohn

    Dionigi: Boots are not out-priced by other pharmacies in our locality, as they have now successfully acquired all their competitors. I think you’ll find that the dream of most large companies is to put their competitors out of business, gain a monopoly, and charge whatever they can get away with!

  • cnocspeireag

    This is part of the rip-off of UK consumers over most pharmaceutical products. It seems chemists pay about £1.50 for the generics, and other countries in Europe charge about £6 retail. I bought Iodine in Cyprus some years ago for less than a Euro, a price at which the pharmacy presumably made a profit. Price in UK? Over ten pounds. I think retail chemists look at a thousand percent mark up as conservative in the UK.

  • andym

    Reminds me of an old joke.
    Man goes into chemists, asks,” Have you got anything for diarrhea?”
    Assistant.”Have you tried Boots?”
    Man.” Yeah. But the shit keeps coming out through the laceholes.”

  • barriejohn

    @andym: And one of my dad’s favourites (performed many years ago by Dick Emery).
    “Do you have talcum powder?”
    “Walk this way.”
    “If I could walk that way I wouldn’t need the talcum powder!”

  • No Christian charity helps any woman pay for her pills which says a lot.