Opill: The First Over-the-Counter Birth Control Pill is Coming Soon

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Opill, an oral contraceptive, is the first birth control pill to be available over the counter in the U.S. No prescription, doctor’s appointment, or health insurance is needed to attain this pill. Unlike most birth controls, Opill only contains progestin, whereas the majority of birth control pills have a combination of progestin and estrogen. 

Perrigo, a leading global self-care company, manufactures Opill. They aim to “make lives better by bringing quality, affordable self-care products that consumers trust everywhere they are sold.”

The new oral contraceptive is predicted to be a convenient alternative to going to the doctor and being prescribed birth control pills. Clinical Assistant Professor Andrea Henkel, who works in the Obstetrics and Gynecology department at Stanford University, explained, “Opill will be available for over-the-counter purchase at pharmacy counters. This means that anyone—including young people—can walk into their local pharmacy and get birth control. Opill is more effective than non-hormonal forms of contraception currently available without prescription, such as condoms. For some, access to hormonal contraception without a prescription may save time spent on travel, at the doctor’s office, and off from work.”

Additionally, Opill allows people with little to no access to health care or health insurance a way to have the benefits of birth control. Henkel said, “Most people can access prescribed hormonal contraceptives at no cost through their health insurance. Opill offers relatively on-demand access to an effective form of contraception for those with barriers to accessing prescribed contraceptives.”

Opill is potentially a more cost effective option as well. Planned Parenthood said, “Some health care providers require that women have exams before they’re prescribed hormonal birth control, and others do not. If needed, an exam usually costs about $35–$250.” Once prescribed, the birth control pill, patch, and ring usually cost $20 to $50 per month. 

According to Perrgio, Opill is 98% effective at preventing pregnancy when used correctly. But, as a pill that must be taken daily in order to be effective, Henkel recommended to stock up or be extra vigilant of how many pills you have left.

At a rate of $49.99 for a three-month pack and $89.99 for a six-month pack, Opill is supposed to be available in most major pharmacies nationwide and online in early April.

Tessa is a junior in her second year of journalism. She enjoys co-writing for the Bears Doing Big Things column and the social trends happening at M-A. Tessa also enjoys playing tennis and is on the varsity team.

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