FDA Set To Take The Next Step In Making OTC Birth Control Pills A Reality

Pharma company Perrigo submitted its application to the FDA in July 2022 for approval of the first-ever over-the-counter birth control. 

What really happens when you go on the pill varies from person to person, but being able to purchase birth control OTC could be life-changing if it is approved. In a 2015 survey, 29% of women between the ages 18-44 who took birth control reported they had experienced difficulty getting it. Being unable to receive birth control when you need it could have lasting impacts such as unwanted pregnancy, as well as negative side effects on health conditions that the pill is proven to help, like anemia and bone thinning. There are also unexpected benefits of the pill, like lighter periods and less painful menstrual cramps.

Women having access to OTC birth control will not only help those who have difficulty accessing prescriptions, but it will also bring the U.S. in a new direction regarding women's reproductive rights and overall health. Now, an update has been given by the FDA regarding the topic.

More news about the potential OTC pill has come to light

On March 28, Perrigo announced on behalf of the FDA that both parties have rescheduled the meeting regarding the availability of OTC birth control to May 9 & 10. 

As expected, this rescheduled meeting will be on the same topic and will determine whether what would be the first over-the-counter birth control pill should be approved. The birth control pill in question, named Opill, has already been approved by the FDA. However, like all birth control pills, it is currently only able to be accessed via a prescription. The application was originally supposed to be reviewed back in November, but was postponed by the FDA "to allow time for the FDA to review new information." 

Unlike many countries in Europe and Latin America, the U.S. has not approved OTC birth control despite the fact that research and healthcare coalitions like "Free the Pill" have been fighting for the change since 2004. It remains to be seen what the outcome of this petition will be in May.