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ACOG Recommends Over-the-Counter Access for Oral Contraceptives — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
November 26, 2012

ACOG Recommends Over-the-Counter Access for Oral Contraceptives

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that oral contraceptives should be made available over the counter to improve access to contraception.

In a new policy statement, the group says that women could use checklists to self-screen for contraindications. However, there are still concerns about how pharmacists will be paid for their services and whether insurers would cover OTC oral contraceptives. And it is possible that some pharmacists would refuse to provide oral contraceptives.

Another concern is that women will forgo preventive services if they have OTC access, but the authors point out that screening for cervical cancer or sexually transmitted infections is not a requirement for oral contraceptives and shouldn't be a barrier for access.

Making the pills available over the counter would allow women to purchase more than one pill pack at a time, which could increase the continuation rates.

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