Monday, May 7, 2007
Federal Deficit Reduction Act Means Female Students Will Face Sharply Higher Prices for Contraception
Dailypress.com reports in Birth control prices rise on campuses, by Cynthia Cho:
Until January, when the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 went into effect, college health centers were able to purchase contraceptives and other drugs at steep discounts from pharmaceutical companies. One of the reasons that makers of contraceptives did this was to create brand loyalty among young women.
But a change in the regulation now makes it financially unattractive for the companies to do that because providing those discounts increases how much they owe to participate in Medicaid. The amount drug companies must pay state Medicaid agencies depends on the difference between the manufacturer price and the lowest sale price.
That gap is bigger (and thus companies have to pay more to Medicaid) if the companies offer deep discounts to colleges. Certain sales are exempt from being included in this calculation, but for now at least, sales to student health centers are not.
Health officials on campuses throughout the country say they are concerned the increases in prices will cause students to switch to less effective methods or stop using birth control completely.
And which students are going to absorb the impact of these price increases? Female students, whom society holds responsible for purchasing and taking hormonal contraceptives, in order to avoid unintended pregnancies that, increasingly, federal and state governmental officials think they should carry to term.
See also this article on Women's eNews about other effects of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005.