Girls should have prescription for 5-days-after pill - Pani

AIFA chief doesn't see pregnancy test as necessary

(ANSA) - Rome, February 17 - Luca Pani, the director general of Italian Pharmaceuticals Agency AIFA, said Tuesday that he thought girls under-18 should have a doctor's prescription to obtain the so-called 'five-days-after' emergency contraception pill. "My personal opinion is that the health of women, above all minors, must be protected," Pani said when commenting on the five-days-after pill. "I think it would have much sense (requiring) a pregnancy test. But I see the absence of a prescription for minors as problematic". Last month AIFA started assessing whether to make the five-days-after pill available without a prescription.
    The pill prevents unwanted pregnancies by delaying or preventing ovulation if taken within 120 hours, or five days, of unprotected intercourse.
    In 2011, the health ministry's superior council on health said the pill should be marketed as an emergency contraceptive, but only to women who can prove they are not already pregnant.
    The contraceptive manufactured by HRA Pharma was approved in Europe as a prescription medication at the end of 2009.
    A survey of 134,000 women by VediamociChiara women's health online magazine showed 93% of respondents believed they should be able to access emergency contraception without a prescription.


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