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RPS urges free EHC, as Superdrug offers half-price generic

Emergency hormonal contraception (EHC) should be supplied by pharmacies "free at the point of delivery”, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has said.

“Cost is a barrier to access,” RPS head of corporate communications Neal Patel stressed, in response to news that Superdrug will offer a generic containing levonorgestrel for half the price of its branded EHC.

“For that reason, we would like to see all community pharmacists be able to supply EHC directly, through NHS-based services at the point of delivery.”

Mr Patel also told C+D the RPS is “supportive of initiatives that improve access to emergency contraception and sexual health advice for women”.

“More choice and access”

Superdrug launched its generic Ezinelle pill yesterday (June 27) priced at £13.49 – half the £27 it charges for branded Levonelle.

Ezinelle contains levonorgestrel 1.5mg and is now available from "over 200" of Superdrug's pharmacies, as well as through the multiple's Superdrug Online Doctor service.

Superdrug healthcare director Michael Henry said offering a generic EHC pill would give women “more choice and access”, at a time when they are most in need.

Ann Furedi, chief executive of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, said the high cost of emergency contraception can be a “major barrier” to women.

Superdrug has illustrated that “where appropriate it’s perfectly possible to sell this safe and effective medication to women at a significantly more affordable price”, Ms Furedi said.

“There is frankly no excuse for others not to do the same,” she added.

What do you think about Superdrug's decision?

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