Selling contraceptives in Spain between March and August decreased by 11.4%, a decrease attributable both to confinement and the difficulty in obtaining female contraceptive prescriptions and which also suggests that sexual relations have been reduced by the pandemic.
In a telematic press conference, the general director of HRA Pharma in Spain, Ines Correia, has released a study prepared by the pharmaceutical company that shows that the decrease in sales was 7% in regular contraceptives – those that require a prescription – and 20% in emergency ones, those that can be purchased without a prescription.
Specifically, sales in the Spanish market fell 5.5% in March, 19.4% in April and 19.8% in May, while in June the drop was 6.9%, according to the HRA Pharma study.
Correia has attributed part of this decline in sales to the fact that obstetric and gynecological clinical care slowed down and urgent consultations were prioritized due to the Covid-19, which made it difficult to access prescriptions.
Doctors fill prescriptions for a period of one month to buy contraceptives in pharmacies, but since medical centers were saturated during the pandemic, women had more difficulty obtaining them.
On the other hand, the security measures imposed in pharmacies since the beginning of the pandemic – the capacity limit or the social distance between client and pharmacist – have not facilitated the delivery of contraceptives, which requires a close conversation with the pharmacist, according to The head of HRA Pharma has pointed out.
To this is also added that contraceptives are products that are mostly bought in pharmaciess, so online sales, which have exploded in other markets during the pandemic, have been practically irrelevant in this sector.
According to the study, between July and August, coinciding with the unconfined, the lifting of restrictions and the need to socialize, contraceptive sales also fell, by 8.1% in July and 9% in August.
In Catalonia, the drop in sales was slightly higher than the average for the rest of Spain, as the general decline was 11.5%: 7.1% in March; 19.1% in April and 23.4% in May, although it began to recover once the confinement was lifted and the falls were not so great in June (-10.1%), July (-11.4% ) and August (-11.5%).
The analysis of these data reflects that Spanish sexual relations since the beginning of Covid-19 have suffered and have been more sporadic, as indicated by the directive of the pharmaceutical company.
According to the company, it is estimated that of the nearly two million unprotected intercourse that the report estimates that took place in 2017, 198,344 unwanted pregnancies could have resulted, in a similar trend in recent years. The HRA Pharma report also estimates that the use of emergency contraception prevented 101,271 unwanted pregnancies in 2017 in Spain.
Based on research by the John Hopkins University of Maryland (USA), HRA Pharma foresees an increase in the number of voluntary interruptions of pregnancies as a result of the pandemic in the coming months, especially in the case of possible new confinements.