Irish pharmacy now offering FREE contraceptive pills to its female customers
This is brilliant!
This week, Healthwave, the Irish digital subscription-based pharmacy, will launch free contraception for their members, bringing Ireland in line with countries such as New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina, Iran, Syria, Paraguay, Uruguay, Uganda and Burkina Faso who already provide contraception available free of charge to citizens.
How great is that?
Healthwave, which runs a membership-based service, will offer the generic versions of six of the most commonly prescribed contraceptive pill medications in Ireland, at no cost to Healthwave members with valid prescriptions.
Healthwave is launching this initiative in response to long-standing calls and recommendations, from many healthcare providers in Ireland, for the State to provide access to free contraception to Irish women, in addition to demand from the wider female population, as well as feedback from many of Healthwave's own 15,000 members.
It 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 the initiative to give time for regulatory and policy issues to be addressed and legislation to be drafted and enacted.
“Our goal at Healthwave is to simplify access to medications. 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,” said Catherine McNicholas, Director of pharmacy services at Healthwave.
McNicholas added, “Healthwave was the first pharmacy to set up a membership plan so that patients could guarantee continuity of care, the first pharmacy to offer nationwide delivery of medicines, the first pharmacy to publish a price-list and the first pharmacy to cut traditional industry margins delivering significant savings to our patients”
Through this programme, Healthwave is leading the way in an effort to bring Ireland in line with several countries across Europe along with other countries.
The oral contraceptive pill is the most commonly used form of female contraception in Ireland and contains oestrogen and/or progestogen.
A prescription for the pill can be obtained from a doctor or a family planning clinic. Generic contraceptive pills cost between €5 and €8 per pack.
Annual savings for every woman availing of the scheme will be in the region of €50 - even allowing for the €25 membership fee for Healthwave.
How brilliant is that?