Santiago, Oct 23, 2007 / 03:27 pm (CNA).- The Chilean government has imposed multi-million dollar fines on three pharmacy chains for not selling the abortion pill, the legitimacy of which the courts in the country are currently debating.
The government announced it would impose fines on three main pharmacy chains for not carrying the morning-after pill. Up to now, all of the major Chilean laboratories have refused to manufacture the pill, and therefore the government and abortion organizations have had to import it from Colombia.
In addition to the fines, the government has required the chains to explain the reasons for which they are not carrying the drug.
Chile’s Ministry of Health claims the pharmacies are obliged “by law” to sell the pill, and it said it has acquired 25,000 doses of the drug from a Colombian lab. “Last year we did not impose fines because the pill was not available in the country, but now it has been available for the last five months, and they still have not bought it,” said Health official Mauricio Osorio, adding that pharmacies should “urgently” begin to sell the drug.
If the pharmacies refuse they will be subject to more fines or even the “closing of their stores.”