Why Boots' Response To The Morning After Pill Backlash Was Wrong

22 July 2017, 09:44 | Updated: 22 July 2017, 10:41

Women don't need moral guidance from Boots, says Labour MP Jess Phillips.

Boots has said it is "truly sorry" for its response to a campaign by female Labour MPs to cut the price of emergency contraceptive, announcing it is looking for cheaper alternatives.

The pharmacy charges £28.25 for Levonelle emergency contraceptive and £26.75 for its own version, while Tesco charges £13.50 for Levonelle and Superdrug £13.49 for a generic product.

Labour MP Jess Philips, from the constituency of Yardley, was one of the lead voices on the campaign and spoke to Andrew Castle to explain why the company received such criticism of its initial response.

Jess Philips, Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley, spoke with Andrew Castle Photo: PA
Jess Philips, Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley, spoke with Andrew Castle Photo: PA. Picture: PA

Boots 'truly sorry' after row over cost of morning-after pill Levonelle

Boots had defended its pricing of the pill by saying it was often criticism for providing the service.

The pharmaceutical company added that it "would not want to be accused of incentivising inappropriate use, and provoking complaints, by significantly reducing the price of this product".

Ms Philips nailed exactly why so many people were upset with the initial response.

She said: "They were sort of making out like if they're going to sell it to us for cheap, you know, down the pub and down the night club, everybody is going to be using recreational emergency contraceptive. It's just totally laughable."

The MP added: "The reason women go to take emergency contraceptive is because they need them. They're incentivised by their situations.

"The price point and market forces is not something that comes into play. It is about women needing a product."

She continued: "You go in there because you have to, and I don't know many women who haven't had to do this.

"You're sort of asked these questions about whether you're in a relationship and we should just trust women to do the right things for them and their bodies, and we don't need moral guidance from Boots.

"And I very much doubt, whilst they've giving it to you about Ibuprofen, they're not giving moral guidance to men buying condoms."