Pregnancy Kits for French Supermarkets

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Assembly vote on Monday opens the way for wider distribution of pregnancy kits

On a busy day at the Assemblée Nationale (the French Dáil), deputies voted in favour of a bill that authorizes the sale of pregnancy testing kits in supermarkets and hypermarkets, despite opposition from the right in the form of the UMP and the National Front, the centrist UDI and the radicals of the Left.

The bill was passed after a second reading in the Lower House of the French national executive under the auspices of the consumption law.

On the streets of Paris yesterday, most people who were asked said that making pregnancy test kits available in the supermarket would be both both more discreet and more practical. “It’s more anonymous,” said some people, while others said that it would make the kits “more accessible” with the longer opening hours that supermarkets operate compared to traditional pharmacies.

The other big advantage from the consumer’s point of view is that of product being made available at a lower price, with an end to the monopoly that the pharmacies have enjoyed up to now and generic brands selling at half or a third of the price.

Pharmacies across France are naturally unhappy with the move, but they do cite the important difference that the new law will deprive women of the expert advice that they would routinely receive from a pharmacist: “A young girl will ask you at what date after your periods have stopped should you take the pregnancy test, for example. That’s the sort of question that supermarket check-out assistant can’t answer,” said one pharmacist.

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