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US regulators approve first over-the-counter contraceptive pill

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first over-the-counter contraceptive pill, allowing millions of women and girls in the country to buy contraception without a prescription at a time when some states have sought to restrict access to birth control and abortion.

FDA officials said on Thursday it cleared Perrigo’s Opill – an every day, prescription-only hormonal contraception first approved in 1973 – to be sold over-the-counter. The pill will be available in stores and online in the first quarter of next year, and there will be no age restrictions on sales. The regulatory approval paves the way for people to purchase the pill without a prescription for the first time since oral contraceptives became widely available in the 1960s.

“Today’s approval marks the first time a nonprescription daily oral contraceptive will be an available option for millions of people in the United States,” Patrizia Cavazzoni, the director of the FDA’s center for drug evaluation and research, said in a statement.

“When used as directed, daily oral contraception is safe and is expected to be more effective than currently available nonprescription contraceptive methods in preventing unintended pregnancy.”

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Source: The Guardian, 13 July 2023


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