AMA to FDA: Make birth control available over the counter

The American Medical Association is urging the FDA to make oral contraceptives available over-the-counter without an age restriction. 

"Providing patients with OTC access to the birth control pill is an easy call from a public health perspective as the health risks of pregnancy vastly outweigh those of oral contraceptive use," David Aizuss, MD, AMA board member, said in a June 15 statement. "Access is one of the most-cited reasons why patients do not use oral contraceptives, use them inconsistently or discontinue use. Expanding OTC access would make it easier for patients to properly use oral contraceptives, leading to fewer unplanned pregnancies."

In December, The New York Times reported at least two drug companies — Cadence Health and HRA Pharma — have been in communication with the FDA about making their birth control pills available without a prescription. HRA is expected to submit its application to the FDA to make the switch by the end of the year.

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