U.K. To Reduce Tax on Condoms, Contraceptive Products
The United Kingdom government plans to reduce its value added tax on condoms and contraceptive products from 17.5% to 5%, Gordon Brown, chancellor of the exchequer, said on Wednesday, PA/24dash.com reports (PA/24dash.com, 3/22). The reduction in tax -- scheduled to take effect July 1 -- is subject to parliamentary approval (Dow Jones, 3/22). According to advocates, the British Her Majesty's Treasury has responded to a 10-month campaign by pharmacy chain Superdrug on the issue. The reduction in taxes on condoms would save consumers about $8.8 million annually. The price of emergency contraception -- which can prevent pregnancy if taken up to 72 hours after intercourse -- would decrease from about $44 to about $39 (Kaiser Daily Women's Health Report, 3/3). "This move will particularly benefit lower-income groups, for whom cost may be a key factor in using these methods," Anne Weyman, CEO of the Family Planning Association, said (Derbyshire, Daily Telegraph, 3/23). The reduction in VAT will include all contraceptive products, including EC sold in stores, on the Internet or in vending machines (Guardian, 3/23).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.