Morning after pill to be delivered to women by courier
A new courier service, which will deliver the morning after pill directly to women while they are at home or at work, is due to launch in the UK next week.
The online medical practice DrEd.com is behind the ‘pill-by-bike’ service, although the idea has attracted criticism from some health professionals.
That is because women will be able to order the emergency contraception online without having to see a GP for a consultation beforehand.
One of the main concerns is that the courier service will encourage young girls and teenagers to have underage sex.
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Norman Wells, from the Family Education Trust, said: “Since the morning-after pill was first approved for use in the UK, various schemes have been introduced to make it more widely and more easily available, yet the international research evidence continues to show that making it more readily available has not succeeded in reducing unintended pregnancy and abortion rates.
“Instead, young people in particular have been lulled into a false sense of security, take a more casual attitude to sex, and become exposed to an increased risk of sexually transmitted infections.”
However, Amit Khutti, the founder of DrEd, disagreed, arguing users of the service have to enter their date of birth to order the contraception and also need to have access to a credit card to pay for it.
“I don’t think this service is going to appeal to minors or encourage under age sex,” he said.
“For a start, you need to pay for the service and if you’re young there are a number of places you can already get the morning after pill free.
“You also need a credit card to order our service, which is another barrier, and you’ll have to personally sign for delivery.”
It will cost women £20 to get the morning after pill delivered to them by courier and on a weekday the product will be dispatched two hours after ordering.
They will also have the option to order online the night before to ensure the pill is with them first thing in the morning.
“Emergency contraception works better the sooner you take it, so having it delivered within two hours will make it more likely to be effective,” Khutti added.
“It will arrive at the office in discreet packaging so women won’t be embarrassed.
“Socially, some people are still put off by having to answer questions face to face about why they need emergency contraception.”
The service will initially start in London later this month and if it proves to be a success DrEd is hoping to be able to offer deliveries in other UK cities.
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