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Perrigo Company applies to FDA for first-ever OTC birth control pill

Birth control pills actually may be safer for teenagers than for older women, a study finds.
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Americans could see the first over-the-counter birth control pill hit the market, if it gets approval from the FDA.

According to the National Institutes of Health, nearly one third of adult women in the U.S. reported difficulties trying to get a prescription or refill for contraceptives, like the pill. That’s something the group HRA Pharma hopes to change.

The consumer healthcare company has submitted its application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to make Opill, a non-estrogen, daily birth control pill, an over the counter option. If approved it would be the first-ever OTC birth control pill in the country. Frederique Welgryn, Chief Strategic Operations and Innovation Officer, calls it a groundbreaking moment in access and equity, saying:

“More than 60 years ago, prescription birth control pills in the U.S. empowered women to plan if and when they want to get pregnant. Moving a safe and effective prescription birth control pill to OTC will help even more women and people access contraception without facing unnecessary barriers.”

Opill, a progestin-only pill, was first approved in 1973 and is used pre-conception to prevent pregnancy.

Perrigo, the parent company of HRA Pharma, hosts its North American headquarters in Grand Rapids.

With almost half of the more than 6.1 million U.S. pregnancies each year being unintended, the industry giant said widening access to contraception will increase the likelihood of using birth control methods.

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