Daily Pharmacy News

Get your free subscription started now. Just enter your email address below.

Financial Barriers to Accessing the New OTC Oral Contraceptive Product

Approved by the FDA in July 2023, the first over-the-counter (OTC) daily oral contraceptive pill Opill (norgestrel) “could dramatically improve family planning” in the United States, according to authors of a Perspective article. “Opill’s price, however, hasn’t been made public and may not be revealed until the drug enters the market in early 2024. Although contraceptive pills generally cost between $10 and $50 per month without insurance, there’s no indication that Opill’s price will fall within this range. In addition, although the manufacturer (Perrigo) has expressed interest in a consumer-assistance program, it hasn’t released details regarding eligibility for such a program.”

Confusion regarding a 2019 guidance from the Health Resources and Services Administration and a June 2023 Biden administration executive order on OTC contraceptives and improved coverage of contraception creates a need for Congressional action, the authors conclude: “For the millions of reproductive-age people who are uninsured in the United States, Opill may be an attractive option if it averts the need for a physician visit, especially for people who don’t have an existing health care relationship. Yet, cost-related challenges could still affect uptake. For people who are insured, we believe Congress should require coverage so as to expand access to reproductive health care. Legal clarity is essential to ensure that the availability of OTC oral contraception leads to widespread benefits.”

Source: New England Journal of Medicine