Birth Control Goes OTC For The First Time

The launch of the first over-the-counter birth control pill marks a transformative moment for contraceptive accessibility in the United States. Perrigo, the company behind Opill, has announced its forthcoming availability in physical stores and online this month. Priced at approximately $20 for a month’s supply, Opill presents an economical and practical choice for those in search of dependable birth control options.

Opill received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in July, marking a significant milestone in contraceptive history. It is the first daily birth control pill cleared for over-the-counter use for all ages in the United States. This groundbreaking decision eliminates the need for a prescription and empowers individuals to take control of their reproductive health.

Perrigo plans to release Opill in various sizes, including one-month, three-month, and six-month packs. The suggested retail prices for these packs are $19.99, $49.99, and $89.99, respectively. This range of options ensures that individuals can choose the supply that best suits their needs.

Recognizing the financial challenges faced by low-income and uninsured individuals, Perrigo is committed to offering a cost-assistance program. This program aims to help qualified individuals obtain Opill at a reduced cost or even for free. By prioritizing accessibility, Perrigo aims to break down the barriers that prevent many from accessing effective contraception.

Opill’s journey to becoming an over-the-counter contraceptive dates back to its initial approval as a prescription drug by the FDA in 1973. Perrigo’s subsidiary, HRA Pharma, acquired the rights to Opill from Pfizer in 2014. Since then, Perrigo has worked tirelessly to secure FDA approval for over-the-counter use, ultimately achieving this milestone in 2021.

Dr. Melissa J. Kottke, an obstetrician-gynecologist based in Atlanta, believes that expanding contraceptive access is crucial to helping individuals achieve their reproductive goals. As a paid consultant to Perrigo during the FDA approval process, Dr. Kottke emphasizes the importance of removing unnecessary barriers to contraceptive options.

According to Perrigo, Opill boasts an impressive efficacy rate of 98% when taken as directed. This high level of effectiveness provides individuals with the reassurance they need when it comes to preventing unintended pregnancies. With almost half of the 6.1 million pregnancies in the United States each year being unintended, Opill’s availability as an over-the-counter option has the potential to make a significant impact on reproductive health outcomes.

As the first over-the-counter birth control pill hits the market, it represents a significant step forward in contraceptive accessibility. Opill’s affordability, convenience, and effectiveness offer individuals greater control over their reproductive choices. By empowering individuals with easier access to contraception, we can work towards reducing unintended pregnancies and promoting reproductive freedom for all.