Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The first steps toward over-the-counter birth control in the US are finally underway

Vox (December 30, 2016): The first steps toward over-the-counter birth control in the US are finally underway, by Emily Crockett:

A French drug company is planning to apply to the FDA for approval of over-the-counter birth control.  The approval process is likely to take several years, but if a drug is approved it would remove a major barrier to contraceptive access.

Most states require that women get a doctor's prescription before obtaining hormonal birth control, but major medical organizations including, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Medical Association, and the American Academy of Family Physicians have said that oral contraceptives can be safe for over-the-counter use.  In order to make contraceptives available over-the-counter, a drug company must go through the process of applying to get approval for one of its drugs.  According to Vox:

HRA Pharma in Paris is partnering with advocates and experts from Ibis Reproductive Health, an international nonprofit research organization for reproductive health, to start the process of bringing an over-the-counter oral contraceptive to the US market.

HRA and Ibis plan to seek approval for a progestin-only pill because it is suitable for the broadest range of users. 


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