The First OTC Birth Control Pill In The United States Has Shipped To Retailers

( — On Monday, March 4, Perrigo, a manufacturer of over-the-counter (OTC) pharmaceuticals, announced that their over-the-counter birth control pill, Opill, will be available in American drug stores by the end of March. A one-month supply will retail for $19.99, while their recommended 3-month supply will cost $49.99. They will also be offering a 6-month supply package for $89.99. Opill can already be pre-ordered from select online retailers.

CVS spokesperson, Matt Blanchette, announced that the Opill will be available through their website and the CVS app by late Match, and by early April 7,500 CVS Pharmacy stores will be stocking it for easy pick-up or delivery. The formula for the Opill has been approved for use in America since 1973, but it was only approved for use without a prescription in July. There has long been a concern that women will not understand the risks to their health that birth control pills can sometimes pose, so medical assessment has been required as a safeguarding measure. However, since the repeal of Roe v. Wade, there has been increased concern about access to birth control methods.

The Opill is a form of medical birth control that is sometimes referred to as a minipill, as it only contains progestin, as opposed to the combination birth control pill, which has both progestin and estrogen. With typical use, this type of birth control is 91% effective, although with what medical professionals refer to as “perfect use,” it can be up to 98% effective for preventing pregnancy. Perfect use indicates no missed pills and always taking them at the same time of day, while typical use factors in such real-life variables.

While all medications have side effects, and possible dangerous interactions, the minipill is considered very safe overall. Unlike the combination birth control pills, they do not pose a higher risk of blood clots. They also have a lower risk of side effects than the combination drug. Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and adjunct associate professor at George Washington University, believes that while women should still see their gynecologist or primary care provider, these are a good option for those who may have difficulty accessing care. She also recommends that, with all birth control pills, a barrier method of birth control should still be used and warns that these medications are not recommended for patients who have, or have ever had, breast cancer.

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