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OTC Birth Control Pills: Answering Attacks on Access

This is a very uncertain time to access all forms of assisted reproductive technology in the United States. New bans on abortion are emerging nationwide, as well as efforts to limit access to contraceptive and family planning care.The Trump administration has begun its execution ‘Domestic gag rules,‘This gives the clinic the choice of receiving a federal family planning fund or providing patients with comprehensive reproductive care, including referrals to abortions. The administration is also in court seeking to implement religious exemptions for the coverage requirements of the Contraceptive Act of the Affordable Care Act. Refuse coverage of contraceptive worker insurance It is based on the religious beliefs of their employer.

As a researcher and practicing OBGYN, these ideologically motivated policies threaten the ability of millions of Americans to obtain affordable contraception to meet their individual needs. I am aware that I am. They also ignore the urgent need to increase access to contraception.The rate of unintended pregnancies has declined in recent years, but studies show 45% of all pregnancies It is reported to be unnecessary or out of timing.

Fortunately, efforts are underway to promote policies to increase access to one of the most commonly used contraceptive methods in the United States, oral contraceptives (OCPs). For example, 17 states and the District of Columbia have passed legislation requiring insurance coverage for a 12-month supply of OCP. New research Shows that allowing patients to receive a one-year pill supply with a single prescription reduced both medical costs and the rate of unintended pregnancy compared to a three-month supply limit. increase. In addition, 12 states and DCs allow pharmacists to prescribe OCP and, in some cases, other hormone therapies.

But in the end, if you really want to make it available to everyone who needs oral contraceptives, one important step is: Make them available in stores (OTC) You will be covered by insurance without a prescription.

There is plenty of evidence to support making OCP available on the OTC. OCP is one of the most well-researched medicines on the market, and research has overwhelmingly shown it to be safe enough to be obtained without a prescription. Safer than common OTC drugs Like Advil and Tylenol. Some people are in a state of health that can reduce the safety and efficacy of oral contraceptives, but studies have shown a simple checklist to determine if a pill is suitable for you. You can use it yourself. According to other studies, women taking OTC have been using it longer than women taking prescription pills. OTC Access is also supported by major medical institutions such as the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the American Academy of Family Physiology.

Not only is oral contraceptives available as an OTC common sense, but they are also popular. Polls consistently show that most Americans support OTC access to OCPs. And they also have a proven desire: 2015 survey I jointly could use OTC pills if present, as 39% of adult women aged 18-44 years did, and almost one-third of young women aged 15-17 years. I found that it was said to be highly sexual.

Given the fierce debate about access to contraceptives in the United States today, making contraceptives available on OTC may seem like a difficult order.But Many other countries We have already taken this step. In another study I co-authored, Over 100 countries around the worldWomen can get OCP directly at the pharmacy, but sometimes with the help of a pharmacist.

Although at least two companies are doing the research required to submit to the US Food and Drug Administration for approval, OTC contraceptives may still be years away. In the meantime, lawmakers can lay the groundwork to ensure that contraception is available as much as possible.Last month, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) “Affordable access” method A law that requires insurance companies to cover OTC contraceptives in each room without the need for out-of-pocket costs or prescriptions. And while other Republican-led proposals that support making OCP available without a prescription are sometimes flawed, there is widespread consensus that it is both wise and right, even in this overheated political environment. Indicates that there is.

The challenges we face with today’s sexual and reproductive health access require bold and positive solutions. It’s time to bring pills over the counter to ensure that Americans across the country can afford access to the contraceptives they want and need.

About the author: Dr. Daniel Grossman Promotion of new standards for reproductive health (ANSIRH)

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Written by Fem Society

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