The Food and Drug Administration has approved an over-the-counter birth control pill for the first time.
The approval applies to Opill, also known as the minipill because it contains only one hormone, progestogen, while other ‘combined pills’ contain both progestogen and estrogen.
Medical experts and activists who have pushed for its approval have argued that its availability without a prescription opens the door for both young women and poor women who may not have the time or resources to go to a doctor for a prescription.
Dr. Patrizia Cavazzoni, director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research saidToday’s approval marks the first time that an over-the-counter daily oral contraceptive will be an available option for millions of people in the United States.
“When used as directed, daily oral contraception is safe and is expected to be more effective than currently available non-prescription methods of contraception in preventing unintended pregnancy.”
Opill differs from other oral contraceptives in that it contains only one hormone – progestin – instead of two
Perrigo Company, the Dublin based manufacturer expected the minipill will hit shelves and online stores alongside aspirin and melatonin sometime between January and March of next year.
Perrigo President and CEO Patrick Lockwood-Taylor said, “Today is a truly momentous day for women’s health across the country. Opill has the potential to revolutionize women’s access to contraception.”