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Morning-after pill price: Women are concerned

Morning-after pill price: Women are concerned

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Weronika Paliczka,
31.01.2024 14:45

The morning-after pill will be available without a prescription in Poland from the age of 15. This is a significant step towards making emergency contraception more accessible to women. However, the cost of emergency contraception remains a concern for many. According to young female students, the price of EllaOne may be too high for those in need.

Prime Minister Donald Tusk has fulfilled his promise to millions of women by making emergency contraception, also known as the morning-after pill, available without a prescription in pharmacies. Health Minister Izabela Leszczyna has already started working on reintroducing EllaOne and Escapelle to the market. However, women are highlighting the issue of the high cost of tablets, which can hurt household budgets.

Peace of mind is expensive

It is important to note that the cost of emergency contraception varies depending on the type of drug and the pharmacy. EllaOne, which is effective up to 120 hours after intercourse, costs between PLN 64 and an undisclosed amount. Escapelle, which works up to 72 hours after intercourse, can be purchased for between 35 zlotys and 199 zlotys. However, the final price of the drug is determined by the individual pharmacy.

Additionally, many women have to pay extra for a private medical consultation or an online prescription, with the cheapest online prescription costing approximately PLN 50. This is due to the long wait times for doctor appointments and the conscience clause, which allows some medical professionals to refuse to prescribe emergency contraception due to their personal beliefs.

Emergency contraception is now available without a prescription for individuals over the age of 15. This age is significant because a 15-year-old is considered mature enough to make an informed decision about engaging in sexual activity. However, younger teenagers will still need to obtain a prescription for the morning-after pill. The decision poses a concern regarding reimbursement since once the drug is removed from the list of prescription products, it cannot be added to the list of reimbursed medications. Therefore, pharmacies will still have the discretion to set the price of the morning-after pill.

Affordability of emergency contraception: A significant hurdle for many women

Many women are concerned about the cost of the morning-after pill and are speaking out about it. In an interview with Gazeta Wyborcza, Julia, a student from Wroclaw, expressed her opinion that the price should be much lower. She believes that the current cost can put a strain on the budgets of many young people. In addition, she thinks the morning-after pill should be available without a prescription.

Julia also shared that she hasn't had to use the morning-after pill yet. However, due to the conscience clause, her close friend has had issues obtaining a prescription. As someone who has health concerns related to pregnancy, Julia is afraid of being in a similar situation. She stresses the importance of emergency contraception being easily accessible and not causing harm or inconvenience to those who need it.

The morning-after pill in other countries

In different countries, the cost and availability of emergency contraception varies significantly. For instance, in Georgia, emergency contraception costs the same as a kilogram of meat, which is about 5 euros. However, in the Netherlands, insured persons can obtain contraception for free, while uninsured people have to pay around 20 euros for the morning-after pill. In Germany, emergency contraception costs range from 18 to 35 euros. In France, women up to the age of 26 can access free contraception, including emergency contraception, while other women can obtain the pill for a fee ranging from €3 to €20.

In Argentina, women have two options. They can go to a pharmacy and purchase the pill for about 8946 pesos, which is equivalent to 10 euros if they need it urgently. Alternatively, they can visit a health centre on weekdays and obtain the same pill for free. In Brazil, the morning-after pill is available over the counter and costs approximately 15 reals or 2 euros. In Peru, women can purchase emergency contraception without a prescription for around 5 euros.

Source: Gazeta Wyborcza, OKO.press

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