Morning After Pill Could Be Droned Your Way

The downside is you’d still have to do an online consultation before you could get it, and of course, it wouldn’t be free…


by Sophie Wilkinson |
Published on

Following recent news that experts have said the morning after pill is being sold only after a series of unnecessary questions (the argument goes, no one dies from taking emergency contraceptive, whereas people can die due to paracetamol issues, yet buy that without even going to a pharmacy!), there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon.

No, no, English MPs aren’t suddenly deciding to change tack and allow all pharmacies to stock the morning after pill for free. And no way has the stigma around women who take responsibility for their sex lives evaporated. What has happened, is an enterprising (and profiteering one day, no doubt) pharmacy founder has announced that emergency medications will soon be delivered via drone.

MedExpress is run by Dwayne D’Souza, who admits he is ‘piggybacking’ on Amazon’s promises to introduce drone deliveries by the mid-2020s. His plans are, should the regulators approve, to make medicines - especially contraceptions, and, um, Viagra - available by air nationwide.

If it sounds wildly impossible, it’s not. First of all, apart from those glass bottles of anti-flu nectar Calpol, medication is pretty lightweight. Plus, MedExpress has already conducted a test delivery to a woman in Broadstairs. The quadcopter drone carried a medical storage box, which had inside it a morning-after pill. Whatever next, men taking as much responsibility for contraception as women? Haha, sorry, we couldn’t help it.

What is next is getting the drone to fly more than 500 metres (that’s 200 less than the journey of Amazon’s test delivery in Cambridge in 2016). It’s MedExpress’s goal to use drones which fly 50mph over ten miles.

Let’s get our maths brains out of their dusty boxes to work this all out. If a package is attached to a drone, and sent 10 miles away, as the drone flies, it will take a whopping six minutes to zoom its way there. That’s pretty impressive.

As for the consultation? Instead of having to be looked up and down by a sneering pharmacist, you can speak to a bot online instead. However, the delivery itself promises to be discreet.

The Times asked Neal Patel, spokesperson for the Royal Pharmaceutical Society for their take on this and they say, ‘For now, it feels like a solution looking for a problem. A lot of work has gone into making sure that even people in the remotest areas have access to medication when they need it.’

Interestingly, according to BBC5 Live’s coverage of the ways in which the emergency contraceptive pill is restricted to women, only 24% of the places where women can get the morning after pill for free are open on a Sunday. Now, a paid-for drone won’t fix that situation. But maybe MPs could. Work out who yours is and drop them an email here.

You might also be interested in:

Morning After Pill Pharmacist Questions. Why? Just Why?

Drones To Drop Abortion Pills Into Ireland

11 Non-Hormonal Contraception Methods

Follow Sophie on Twitter @sophwilkinson

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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