The first over-the-counter birth control pill could come to Alabama if FDA approves
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) — In November, the FDA will review a birth control product called Opill to see if it can be safely sold over-the-counter without having to see a doctor. There is currently no other contraceptive pill in the United States that does not require a prescription.
dr Wes Stubblefield with ADPH said Opill has been on the market for a while and is a progesterone-only pill, so it contains no estrogen. He said the estrogen component of a pill can usually cause problems for women taking birth control, and one reason is that they do tests at the doctor’s. He said that since Opill has no estrogen, it may not need a prescription.
He said only progesterone pills are endorsed by national organizations and are safe. Stubblefield said if Opill were FDA approved, it would improve access to medical care across the state.
But he said over-the-counter drugs can be abused and shouldn’t be used as an excuse not to see a doctor.
“If they’re not taken properly, they don’t work very well,” Stubblefield said of birth control pills. “People need to know that they are taking them appropriately, that they can get them and that they can afford them. They need to take them as prescribed, understand the risks and benefits, and make sure they follow their regular scheduled check-ups to ensure they stay healthy.”
We don’t know how much the pill would cost if FDA approved, but Stubblefield said to keep it accessible, it has to be affordable.
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