It’s All About The Exchange Rate: ‘The Morning After Pill’ In Luanda, Angola

Today, we’re visiting pharmacies in Luanda, the world’s most expensive city, as a part of our year-long series going all around the world where lovely ladies of color live too see what brands of emergency contraceptives (EC) are available.

As in most locations SuzyKnew! has visited, pharmacies in Luanda are generally offering two brands of levonorgestrel-based emergency contraceptives: a brand name and a generic. In Luanda pharmacies, the most seen EC is Norlevo. It’s generally priced around 5,000 kwanzas which is anywhere between $12 – $50 depending on whether you’re using the unofficial (i. e., black market) rate or official rate. This is a big difference, and this is the highest price we’ve seen in Africa for manufacturer’s HRA Pharma’s Norlevo. But, Luanda isn’t called the world’s most expensive city for nothing! (And, don’t forget in Zurich Norlevo was $55!)

We are also finding generics such as an Indian-manufactured EC called I-72 for lower prices – around 1000 Kwanzas. This is anywhere between $2 and $10 depending on your exchange rate.  And, this price is similar to what we’ve been finding in other African countries. But, it’s all about quality, too, which is important to keep in mind when you’re trying to not get pregnant.

While there were more brands and types of emergency contraceptives available in Luanda last year ago before oil prices fell and the economy fell with it in this oil-dependent country. Pharmacies in urban areas routinely carried several brands and types of EC including ella.

So, if you’re Angolan living here earning kwanzas EC, is more expensive and if you’re paid in foreign currency or visiting, it’s all about the exchange rate! But, nonetheless, today in Luanda, Angola, we lovely ladies of color continue to have a choice in emergency contraceptive brands.

Looking forward to seeing you at our next pharmacy!

Photo courtesy on MS-Moniz Silva, one of Angola’s largest pharmacy chains.