MAP made available thanks to PN MPs – Simon Busuttil
The controversial introduction of the morning-after pill, only by prescription, was the result of a ‘balanced compromise’ reached in the parliamentary committee which found itself split over the issue if the pill should be made available over the counter, as in most countries, or whether it should be given only by prescription.
Replying to questions sent by this newsroom following a report in The Times of Malta that the Opposition Leader Simon Busuttil is against over-thecounter MAP, Dr Busuttil stressed that he personally agrees with the conclusions reached by the Medicines Authority that MAP should be available over the counter, but a compromise had to be reached otherwise the pill would have remained unavailable from the market.
“My position on the morningafter pill has been clear – if it is not abortive there should be no issue with making it readily available,” said Dr Busuttil when asked to clear his stand on MAP.
“The decision taken by the Parliamentary Committee to make the pill available was supported unanimously by PN MPs and was carried despite the opposition from some Labour MPs. It must be emphasised that had PN MPs not voted in favour, the MAP would not be available at all.”
Asked to explain why did the PN go along with the idea to prescribe the pill rather than having it readily available over the counter if he, the leader of the party, had contrasting views on the matter, he replied: “I supported the parliamentary committee position because – at least – it is a step in the right direction. On whether the MAP should be available over the counter or by prescription – my personal view is that this is a decision for the Medicines Authority. Decisions of this nature must be based on scientific expertise and I draw attention to the position taken by Medicines Authority Chief Prof. Serracino Inglott.”
A spokesperson for Dr Busuttil, earlier told this newsroom that the Opposition leader was reported by The Times saying that: “It is a compromise that deserves to be supported,” but he never said that he is personally against it as claimed in the headline of the paper.