Italy and UK: different ways to address pharmacies objecting EC dispensing

September 2021. BBC3 recently reported the case of  two women in the United Kingdom being denied emergency contraception from their local pharmacy, which triggered serious criticism from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) president: “Pharmacy refusal to provide emergency contraception is ‘completely unacceptable’”, said professor Claire Anderson. In 2017, the RPS updated its own  guidance on EC prescribing.

In Italy, last July, the magazine Donna Moderna conducted a small mystery shopper survey, finding that only six out of  the 10 pharmacies visited sold EC to women under 18. Age restrictions to buy UPA or LNG EC pills without prescription were lifted in October 2020 in Italy. The National Federation of Pharmacy License Holders (FEDERFARMA) sustains that objecting is not possible in Italy. A group of civil rights defenders have taken action and set up a website to report, identify and signal objecting pharmacists: https://obiezionerespinta.info/segnala/.