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USA: FDA could approve over-the-counter purchase of first birth control pill

The Food and Drug Administration will consider an application for the first birth control pill to be sold without a prescription.

The application from HRA Pharma would seek to make Opill – an every day, prescription-only hormonal contraception first approved in 1973 – available over-the-counter. Such an approval from the FDA would allow people to purchase “the pill” without a prescription for the first time since oral contraceptives became widely available in the 1960s.

The application will also cast oral contraceptives into a fraught political moment in the US. The US supreme court ended federal protection for abortion rights late last month, throwing into question the future of birth control.

“This historic application marks a groundbreaking moment in contraceptive access and reproductive equity in the US,” said HRA Pharma’s chief strategic operations and innovation officer, Frédérique Welgryn. “More than 60 years ago, prescription birth control pills in the US empowered women to plan if and when they want to get pregnant.”

Making birth control available without a prescription will “help even more women and people access contraception without facing unnecessary barriers”, said Welgryn, whose company has already submitted the application.

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Source: The Guardian, 11 July 2022


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