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Image / Editorial

A new online pharmacy service is offering free contraception for Irish members


by Erin Lindsay
27th Jan 2020
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Irish digital pharmacy service Healthwave is offering free contraception to members


An online-based pharmacy service has launched free contraceptive pills to its members, provided they have a valid prescription, saving them up to €50 a year.

Healthwave, a subscription-based pharmacy where members can order their medication online, is offering generic versions of the six most common contraceptive pills. These include generic versions of Ovranette, Microlite and Yasminelle.

To avail of the offer, users simply have to have a valid prescription from their doctor and pay a €25 membership fee per year to join. The fee covers one household (2 adults and children and pets) and delivery fees to anywhere in Ireland.

Generic contraceptive pills cost between €5 and €8 per pack. The Minister for Health Simon Harris has previously committed to a nationwide free contraceptive initiative and has set the date as 2021 to begin. Healthwave has launched its initiative to precede the government’s, in response to “long-standing calls and recommendations, from many healthcare providers in Ireland”.

Healthwave’s Director of pharmacy services Catherine McNicholas said: “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”.

A number of other countries around the world offer free contraception to its citizens, including New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina, Iran and Syria. With perfect use, the effectiveness of the contraceptive pill is 99%.


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