By Yujia Yang
Women in the Netherlands may soon be unable to purchase their birth control pills, Microgynon 30 and some unnamed brand of the same medication, because a large batch of pills produced in Asia were recently rejected. The Stand explores how the threat of a shortage is affecting women in Groningen.
Annika Brouwer, the manager of Venema Pharmacy in Groningen, said: “We are relying on remaining stocks. But if you want to come back tomorrow? Sorry, we do not have it anymore because currently we only have one box left for one person to use for a month.”
She added, “Microgynon 30 is one of the most reliable oral contraceptive pills, also it usually makes your periods regular, lighter and less painful, which means that it is more acceptable for people. People still need it, but we have problems with supply.”
Other pharmacies like Boterdiep Pharmacy and Oosterpark Pharmacy have similar situation, but they have more boxes left than Venema Pharmacy. Stijn de Haas, the cashier of Boterdiep Pharmacy said, “I expect that the shortage did not last very long.”
The shortage is only impacting this specific type of pill, Stijn told us for the time being, people can use alternative medication.
However, according to Lori Smith, a medical, health and wellness freelancer, wrote on MedicalNewsToday: switching from accustomed contraceptive medication to another type is not an easy thing because birth control pills always have side effects and they directly affect people’s hormonal system, which is highly likely to cause other health problems like weight gain and reduced immune function.
A student from university of Groningen, Pascale* used prescription to buy Microgynon 30 a couple of days ago, but the pharmacy told her that they are running out of it. Then, they said that they can provide another one with the same component but different brand. She said, “To be honest, I feel weird because it does not make me feel safe as usual.”
In response to this, Stijn explained, “In this case, you could go ask your doctor what other medicine you could use except Microgynon 30 because they know your physical condition. But then again, I believe that this situation will return to normal soon.”
* does not want to give full name