Five-day-after pill: Italian Courts confirm availability to minors, even without prescription

LS CUBE Studio Legale and Studio Legale Vaiano-Cataldo assisted manufacturer Hra Pharma who appeared in Court along with the Italian Ministry of Health and the Italian Agency for Pharmaceutical Products (AIFA) against a pleading by some pro-life associations to cancel AIFA Ruling no. 998 of 8 October 2020, which eliminated the requirement of medical prescription for minors to purchase Ulipristal Acetate (AKA “the five-day-after pill”) in pharmacies.

By this historic judgement published on 4 June, the Administrative Court acknowledged that, as evidenced in AIFA authorization, the pill has “a purely antiovulatory function”. Therefore it prevents fertilization, but it does not cause the abortion of an ongoing pregnancy, contrarily to what claimed by plaintiffs.

The Court also rejected the allegations relating to undesirable and possibly toxic effects on the liver related to the use of this pill, deeming them to be “completely generic claims” and “mere hypothetical claims”, without any scientific investigation. After all, the five days later pill can be sold to adults without a prescription since 2015.