On July 13th, the FDA approved a birth control pill that will be sold over the counter. This is definitely a milestone in the U.S. and could significantly expand contraceptive access. The OTC pill will be identical to the prescription version, which with correct usage, is 93 percent effective at preventing pregnancy.
The name of the medication is Opill and its manufacturer, Perrigo Company, based out of Dublin, said Opill will most likely be available in stores and online retailers in the United States as early as 2024. The company said they are committed to making the pill accessible and affordable to women and people of all ages. They also stated there would be a consumer assistance program, which would provide the pill at no cost to some women.
Having this OTC option is great news, considering a high number of pregnancies in this country are unintended. Also, according to a survey last year by the healthcare research organization, KFF, nearly 40 percent said they would be likely to use it. Those who were likely to use Opill included women who are already taking birth control pills, women without health insurance, and Hispanic women. Surprisingly, at this present time, there don’t seem to be many anti-abortionist groups who criticize the OTC birth control. The opposition appears to primarily come from some Catholic organizations and Students for Life Action.
Committee member, Kathryn Curtis, a health scientist with the CDC’s division of reproductive health, stated she thinks Opill will have a positive public health impact.
Janet Downs| Janet Downs is an instructor with over 20 years of experience, having worked with Fortune 500 companies and non-profit organizations. She volunteers and is a resource for the homeless community and is working towards starting her own non-profit. She’s passionate about mental health and seeks to bring more awareness to the black community. She is active in church ministry, a writer, and loves music, hiking, and travel.