Dalli: 'Morning-after-pill instilling culture of self-care’

Civil liberties minister Helena Dalli says pharmacists must be trained further on how to handle clients requesting the morning-after-pill 

tim_diacono
Tim Diacono
21 February 2017, 3:10pm
The recent introduction of the morning-after-pill will help instill a culture of self-care in Malta, civil liberties minister Helena Dalli said.

Addressing a press conference following a meeting with the heads of EU medicines agencies, Dalli recounted how the Medicines Authority had rule that the emergency contraception be made available over the counter, despite a parliamentary committee’s insistence that it only be made available upon prescription.

“The argument was that the morning-after-pill is an emergency contraception and as such should be made easily accessible in the case of an emergency,” she said. “The dawn of the Internet means that people have a lot of information at their fingertips nowadays, although we need to ensure that people are only receiving the correct information.”

The morning-after-pill was made available at Maltese pharmacies in December last year, following months of debate focused on whether it is an abortifacient. At today’s conference at the Excelsior Hotel, French endocrinology professor Philippe Bouchard stressed that there is no scientific evidence that the pill has any impact on implantation.

Dalli also called for pharmacists to be trained on how to handle clients requesting the MAP, following a media report that several of them are not even informing clients of the pill’s side-effects before selling it to them.

However, Medicines Authority chief Anthony Serracino Inglott said it was positive that discussion on the MAP is now shifting towards that debate.

“A few months ago, we were discussing whether the pill should be made available or not. Now we are discussing how clients can get the best use of the pill.”