FDA to consider making prescription contraceptive pill available over-the-counter

The Food and Drug Administration advisory committees will decide in May if a contraceptive pill can be sold in the U.S. without a prescription.

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Two FDA advisory committees — the Nonprescription Drugs Advisory Committee and the Reproductive and Urologic Drugs Advisory Committee —will meet on May 9 and 10 to decide if a birth control pill manufactured in France can be purchased over the counter for the first time in the US.

The pill the FDA is considering is called Opill. Its French drugmaker HRA Pharma has applied to the FDA to switch Opill from prescription-only to one that can be purchased without a prescription.

Opill is a progestin medication. Progestin is a synthetic hormone that produces similar effects to the hormone progesterone. Most oral contraceptive pills contain progesterone and estrogen.

The American Medical Association has called for the FDA to allow the sale of birth control pills over the counter, saying access to contraceptives should be easier.

It is not clear if insurance companies will pay for the medication if it is offered over the counter.

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