When the law costs women too much, a pharmacy steps in

Apotek Hjärtat evens the score on the period tax with a selective sale

Published On
Apr 04, 2018

Editor's Pick

Since 2016, it's been legal for EU nations to reduce or eliminate taxes on medical necessities, but Sweden's 25 percent tax on tampons and sanitary pads remains. So pharmacy chain Apotek Hjärtat is bypassing the politicians and reducing its prices on those products. Expensive? Probably, but think of the money they're saving on a full-blown ad campaign.

Apotek Hjärtat worked with longtime agency Akestam Holst in Stockholm to put together this video promoting thediscount. The pharmacy isn't actually the first to cut prices due to a "period tax"--but when Tesco and Waitrose did the same thing, they only had to eat the U.K.'s 5 percent tax rate.

The issue has inspired other creative ideas. In the U.S., Period Equity enlisted Amber Rose to wear a jewel-encrusted tampon holder to bring attention to the disparate treatment when it comes to feminine hygiene products. Often, male-focused meds like Viagra and Rogaine get tax breaks while period products don't.

Apotek is known for innovative projects that bring the pharmacy out into the real world, like light therapy windows to treat Vitamin D deficiency during the endless Scandinavian winters, and a digital billboard that reacted to oncoming trains.