Claire Anderson.

Recently reported experience of two women who were unable to get emergency contraception from their local pharmacy invoked serious criticism from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society president professor Claire Anderson.

The report was featured by BBC3 online.

Calling it “completely unacceptable”, Anderson said: “It’s vital women needing emergency contraception are not put off approaching their local pharmacy. Pharmacists provide emergency contraception across the UK on a daily basis and the overwhelming majority of women will receive a swift and non-judgmental service, as is their right.”

She added that pharmacists having conscientious objection to providing this service should prior inform their employer, and mention which local pharmacies will supply in case a request is made.

Anderson said: “Protecting the rights of individuals to adhere to their moral or religious beliefs is important, but satisfying the needs of patients must be the priority of both employers and employees.

“A pharmacist should never knowingly put themselves in a situation where they will not be able to meet the needs of patients and should deal with all requests in a compassionate and professional manner.”

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