Drugmaker seeks FDA's 1st-ever approval for over-the-counter birth control

HRA Pharma is eyeing FDA approval to allow its daily birth control pill to forgo prescriptions. If it pans out, the over-the-counter drug would be the first of its kind.

The Paris-based pharmaceutical company submitted an application to the FDA for Opill, a medication that's been authorized since 1973, according to a July 11 press release. 

A 2016 study found that nearly 3 out of 10 women had difficulty receiving a birth control prescription or refill — a statistic that HRA Pharma said could be lowered if Opill axes its prescription label. 

"Moving a safe and effective prescription birth control pill to OTC will help more women and people access contraception without facing unnecessary barriers," HRA Pharma's chief strategic operations and innovation officer, Frédérique Welgryn, said. 

The move comes after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade June 24, which has strained access to medication abortion pills, cancer drugs and emergency contraceptives such as Plan B.

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