Here’s a handy way to save €50 this year.
An online pharmacy has announced it is making the oral contraceptive pill available free of charge to members who sign up for a €25 annual membership.
In response to long-standing calls for the State to provide access to free contraception to Irish women, Healthwave will offer the generic versions of six of the most commonly prescribed contraceptive pills in Ireland.
The generic medicines that will be available free of charge are as follows:
The oral contraceptive pill, which contains oestrogen and/or progestogen, is the most commonly used form of female contraception in the country. A prescription for the pill is obtained from a doctor or a family planning clinic and a pack costs between €5 and €8.
Annual savings for women availing of the Healthwave scheme will be in the region of €50 – even allowing for the €25 membership fee.
The announcement comes shortly after a Department of Health committee ruled there was no room in the 2020 Budget for a nationwide free contraception initiative. The Minister for Health has set a 2021 date for legislation to be drafted and enacted.
“Our goal at Healthwave is to simplify access to medications,” said Catherine McNicholas, Director of pharmacy services at Healthwave.
“We are delighted to be the first pharmacy platform to offer a free contraception service and take the lead on this issue. This is a service that makes accessing contraception both easier and affordable for women in Ireland and is one of many exciting initiatives planned for our members.”
The pharmacy covers all delivery costs anywhere in Ireland and also gives members discounted prices on other generic medications. Once patients sign up for membership online, they are contacted by a pharmacist for a consultation.