Home News The United States allows birth control pills to be sold without a prescription

The United States allows birth control pills to be sold without a prescription

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On Thursday, July 14, the United States authorized the sale of birth control pills without a prescription, a first in the country, which thus hopes to facilitate access to them, especially for young girls. The US Medicines Agency (FDA) has announced that the pill in question, Opill, will be available in pharmacies, neighborhood stores, supermarkets, as well as online.

This decision must “Reducing barriers to access” For this method of contraception, by making it available “Without having to see a health professional first.”The FDA said in a statement.

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Countering the conservative boom

More than 100 countries already allow birth control pills to be sold without a prescription, according to the Free the Pill Alliance of Organizations.

But the measure comes in a particular context in the United States, where the right to abortion is under renewed attack from conservatives and is now banned in several states.

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If used as directed, daily oral contraceptives are safe and more effective in preventing unwanted pregnancy than currently available over-the-counter contraceptives.said Patricia Cavazzoni, an official with the Food and Drug Administration.

The US agency warns that the pill should not be taken by women who already have breast cancer.

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Unknown price at the moment

The progestin-only pill (without estrogen) is produced by the pharmaceutical company HRA Pharma, which was recently acquired by Perrigo. It has been licensed in the United States by prescription for several decades.

It will be available without a prescription in US stores. From the first quarter of 2024Perego said in a statement. Pricing has not yet been announced. This should be “Affordable and covered by insurance” Health, Free the Pill said in a statement, describing the FDA’s decision as a“Historical”.

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Obtained after two decades of advocacy in this direction, can “Diverting access to contraceptives”confirmed this coalition of experts.

Almost half of all pregnancies are unintended

According to health authorities, nearly half of the 6.1 million annual pregnancies in the United States are unintended. But these are related to more “negative results”According to the FDA, including an increased risk of not receiving prenatal care, premature births, and health complications for the baby once it is born.

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The FDA’s decision could have a significant impact on teenage girls in particular, experts say, as they may have more difficulty getting to a doctor, especially if they can only do so on their own.

This procedure may also facilitate access “For those who face more barriers in our health care system, including LGBTQIA+ people, people of color, and those who work to make ends meet.”said physician Lin Fan Wang, quoted in the Free the Pill press release.

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