Jun 16, 2022 - Health

Doctors push to make birth control available without prescription

Illustration of contraceptive pills with an inequality sign overlaid on top.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

The nation's biggest physicians group is joining calls for the FDA to make birth control pills accessible over the counter.

Why it matters: With abortion rights in flux, physicians are joining reproductive health advocates in urging increased access to oral contraceptives, which could join already approved emergency contraceptives, like Plan B, on pharmacy shelves.

  • "It takes on a new urgency as we look down the path of having the loss of the right to abortion in this country," Dana Singiser, co-founder of the Contraceptive Access Initiative, told Axios.

Details: The American Medical Association at its annual meeting opted to follow the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and urge the FDA to make birth control pills available over-the-counter to Americans, without an age restriction.

  • Two drug companies have been in discussions with the FDA for years to bring their birth control pills to this point, the New York Times reported last year.
  • The AMA expects HRA Pharma to formally apply to the FDA for over-the-counter clearance before the end of the year. It completed its final testing phase in 2021.
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