The Malta Independent 16 July 2020, Thursday

Oral contraceptive pill should be considered essential medicine, should be free of charge - PN

Friday, 29 May 2020, 14:18 Last update: about 3 months ago

The oral contraceptive pill should be considered essential medication said the Nationalist Party in a statement published on Friday.

In recent news, a number of oral contraceptive pills have been noted to be out of stock in pharmacies around the island. Spokesperson for Equal Rights Claudette Buttigieg and Spokesperson for Health Stephen Spiteri said that OCP’s should be seen as essential not only because of their contraceptive nature but also because they are often prescribed for polycystic ovaries or acne, which affect women’s wellbeing.

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“The government should work on ensure that certain OCPs should be made available on the government formulary, as there are cases of some women who cannot afford to purchase them. The government should also work to truly increase accessibility of OCPs, not only to ensure that these are on the market (especially during the particular circumstances we currently find ourselves in), but also to ensure that financial realities of certain women in society do not prove to be a constraint in obtaining this medication.”

The statement also reflected on the statement made earlier by Parliamentary Secretary for Equality Rosianne Cutajar, that the contraceptive pill should be made prescription free. “It is unacceptable and irresponsible for government MPs to try score political points based on populist statements, and calling for prescription free OCPs.”

The two MPs said that OCPs should be made accessible, but that the pill can have heavy side effects for certain people and can lead to negative repercussions. “Medical professionals’ prescriptions are vital and also serve as an added incentive for regular visits to the doctor and other medical examinations that can prevent many health issues that many arise otherwise.”

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