Anti-conception pill may become free for Italian women


Southern Europe


Anti-conception pills. Photo ANP, Lex van Lieshout

The Pricing and Reimbursement Committee (CPR) of the Italian Medicines Agency (Aifa) decided on Friday that the anti-conception pill will be free. If the decision is ratified next week, this should apply to all of Italy.

The announcement was presented as a breakthrough in equality, Avennire writes. Women can now fully protect their health, proponents rejoiced. If the Aifa board of directors ratifies the decision, Aifa will provide free pills all over Italy, even though it had been free in some regions before. Estimates predict that it will cost the state about 140 million euros per year.

Side effects

Critics, however, denounce the free distribution of pills. Family organisation Pro Vita & Famiglia finds it irresponsible that the pills will be distributed without “emphasising the serious physical and psychological side effects that can lead to depression and suicidal instincts.” The organisation also worries that it invites young girls “to bombard themselves with hormones.”

The Family Day Association points out that it does not understand why the government will provide free pills when the country is already in a demographic crisis. Its leader, Massimo Gandolfini, is bewildered because this choice “goes in the opposite direction to the problem of falling birth rates.” Instead, he points out, the 140 million euros that are spent on this could “have been allocated to alleviate the serious conditions of families with disabled children who need costly drugs that are not provided free of charge”, he added, as reported by Euractiv.

Equal gratuity

The Italian Parents Movement even believes that free pill distribution “discriminates against those with children.” Director Antonio Affinita says it helps those who do not want children but forgets about families. “We want equal gratuity for diagnostic and therapeutic expenses for children given that the birth rate is the real national emergency.”

According to the most recent report from Aifa, there has been a steady increase in the use of hormonal anticonception in Italy between 2014 to 2021. Statistics from Istat show that about 65 per cent of Italian women use contraceptive methods, including the pill.



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