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Pharmacist refuses to give woman emergency contraception

Pharmacist refused to give woman emergency contraception because it went against her personal beliefs

  • Siani, 41, refused emergency contraception from Lloyds Pharmacy in Brighton 
  • It has admitted there was ‘more the pharmacist could have done for the patient’  
  • Siani said: ‘I’m old and stroppy enough to make a fuss, but what if I was a teenager?’ 

Lloyds Pharmacy has been forced to apologise after one of its staff members refused to give a woman emergency contraception for ‘personal reasons’. 

Siani, 41, who does not want to reveal her surname, had already ordered and paid for the contraception online and was told she could pick it up at any Lloyds Pharmacy outlet. 

However when she arrived at a branch in a Brighton Sainsbury’s she was refused it by a staff member who told her she could either come back the next day or go to another outlet – 10 miles away in Newhaven. 

Lloyds Pharmacy has been forced to apologise after one of its staff members refused to give Siani, 41, emergency contraception for ‘personal reasons’. Stock picture

She had already ordered and paid for the contraception online and was told she could pick it up at any Lloyds Pharmacy outlet but was refused when she entered the Brighton branch. Stock picture 

If emergency contraception is not taken as soon as possible it may not be as effective. 

Siani was shocked that a company as large at Llodys Pharmacy would discriminate against women by allowing just one staff member to work there who didn’t believe in emergency contraception.

While Siani said she didn’t want to knock anyone’s personal beliefs she believes it is important for a company providing such a vital medicine to have staff who are willing to dispense it. 

Talking to the Metro, Siani said: ‘Honestly, it was the world’s largest eye roll. I can handle this, I’m not embarrassed. 

‘I’m old and stroppy enough to make a fuss, but what if I was a teenager?’ 

In an interview with the Guardian , Siani said: ‘I’m shocked that a big company like Lloyds can discriminate against women by having their only branch in the city that’s open on a Sunday staffed by a lone pharmacist who won’t dispense women’s services.’ Pictured is the Sainsbury’s in Brighton where Siani tried to pick up the contraception

If emergency contraception is not taken as soon as possible it may not be as effective. Stock picture

She added: ‘A friend told me about spending all day going from one pharmacy to another and being told no when she was a teenager.’

Former Boots pharmacy dispenser Nick told the Metro: ‘I used to dispense at Boots and it would p*** me off no end – had a Catholic pharmacist who was willing to work on a Sunday but not give out emergency contraception.’  

Lloyds are investigating the incident and admitted that there was ‘more the pharmacist could have done for the patient’.

According to the Metro, Lloyds has apologised for the ‘distress and frustration caused by the experience’, but said they stick to GPhC guidelines which ‘allow pharmacists to refuse to dispense medication that goes against their personal beliefs if there is adequate alternative care available for the patient.’ 

Siani tweeted about her ordeal saying saying: ‘[Lloyds Pharmacy] refused to dispense me emergency contraception which was already paid for today. 

‘There are no other Lloyds pharmacies open in Brighton today. 

‘Is this what you consider an acceptable service for women?’  

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