Pharmacists in the Spanish region of Catalonia along with the organization, Network of Responsible Pharmacies, are opposing a new provision allowing the morning-after pill to be distributed to girls under the age of 16 without a prescription or parental consent.
The spokesperson for the Network of Responsible Pharmacies, Marta Perez, said the provision implemented by the Socialist government constitutes an attack on the professional freedom of pharmacists. She added that it could endanger public health, especially that of young people, due to the misinformation about the true effects of the drug being distributed by the Ministry of Health.
Perez criticized the government for allowing ideological interests to prevail over scientific reasoning. In the case of girls under the age of 16 she said, “There are no representative studies showing that the use of the pill at that age is safe.”
She also questioned the support of the General Council of Official Colleges of Pharmacists for a pamphlet issued by the Ministry of Health despite its misleading information about the pill and its effects. Such support contradicts the professional and ethical role of the Council to safeguard the health of the people, she added.
Perez also lamented the government’s lack of support for the right of pharmacists to conscientious objection. She said the Network is calling on the government to reinstate the requirement of a prescription for the morning-after pill and is establishing legal protection for pharmacists who refuse to distribute it for reasons of conscience.