Doctors Say Birth Control Bills Should be Over the Counter
November 25, 2012- The largest group in the country of gynecologists and obstetricians says that birth control pills, like condoms, should be available over the counter. The group said doctors should not have to perform an exam and write a prescription for the female. The opinion by the group came as a big surprise for many.
Women’s advocates praised the announcement as they have been fighting of a longtime to make the pill easier to get. However, a change will not be very quick in coming, as the manufacturer of the pill would have to request government approval to sell it without a prescription. It is unclear whether any of the companies that manufacture the pill are even asking the FDA to approve them without a prescription.
In addition, a new set of questions exist about what that type of move would mean for women’s wallets, if insurance no longer covered the cost of birth control. Nevertheless, it seems momentum to change the pill’s availability is building.
Currently anyone who is 17 or older does not need to visit a doctor before they can purchase the morning after pill. That pill is a higher dosage that the normal birth control pill and can prevent a female from getting pregnant if taken just a short time after having unprotected sex.
A meeting was held earlier in the year by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to receive ideas about the sale of oral contraceptives that do not require a prescription.
Questions have been asked why doctors, who are the ones making money from yearly visits from women on the pill, are advocating changing the process.
Fifty percent of the pregnancies in the nation are unintended each year and that rate has remained the same the past 20 years. Doctors say that having easier access to the pill could help to lower that rate.