FDA approves first OTC birth control pill

US FDA approves first non-prescription birth control pill. Opill (norgestrel) is a daily progestin medication.

It was FDA-prescribed in 1973. Consumers can buy oral contraceptive medicine without a prescription from drugstores, convenience stores, grocery stores, and online. 

Nonprescription Opill may minimize unplanned pregnancies and associated negative effects. 

"Today's approval marks the first time a nonprescription daily oral contraceptive will be an available option for millions of people in the US," said.  Patrizia Cavazzoni, MD, head of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. 

"When used as directed, daily oral contraception is safe and expected to be more effective than currently available non-prescription contraceptive methods in preventing unintended pregnancy," Cavazzoni said.

Opill, like pharmaceutical oral contraceptives, prevents pregnancy by 93% when taken daily. 

The pill comes amid US advocacy groups' campaign for women's reproductive rights and expanding contraception access after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022.

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