Given that menstruation and wanting to prevent pregnancy are not diseases and since the birth control pill is not a dangerous medicine, do women really need to obtain a prescription to purchase the pill? When you think about it, there is no real risk of drug abuse... if you take too many pills, you're more likely to being throwing-up -- not getting high.
Is the FDA taking the best stance on this issue, or is prescription-status of the pill making it more difficult for women to use and pay for it? Research seems to indicate that more women will use the pill and more pregnancies will be prevented if it could be obtained over-the-counter (OTC). Besides, it has been argued that no other drug has been as extensively researched and studied than the pill -- and the consensus has been reached that the pill is a relatively safe and super effective medication to use.
Several countries, such as Japan, the Philippines, Mexico, Spain, and Brazil allow women to buy birth control pills OTC; but here in the Unites States, women must receive a prescription to obtain the pill. Some argue that women need a medical screening in order to be evaluated for medical conditions or risks that could make pill use more dangerous.
Yet, research has shown that women are very good at self-screening for conditions that would be considered to be contraindications to using the pill. Typically, only about 6.7% of women incorrectly thought they did not have any contraindications/risks when, in fact, they did. Yet, even with medical screening, approximately 6% of pill users in the US show contraindications for pill use. Would it not be safe then, to assume, that given the percentage of women incorrectly misdiagnosing themselves as not having any pill contraindications (6.7%) is similar to the proportion of actual pill users in the US who are contraindicated for use (6%), the over-the-counter sale of birth control pills would likely be safe?
- Can I Buy Birth Control Pills Over the Counter?
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The pill can provide the convenience of managing one's period (or just skipping it), the control to prevent pregnancy, help in the management of acne, painful periods and PMDD, lower your risk for ovarian cancer, and its use probably results in fewer abortions -- plus research shows that women can self-screen for pill risks. Given this, do you think the pill should be available for sale in the US over-the-counter?
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