Pressure mounts on drug makers to make contraception OTC

Delegates at the American Medical Association's annual meeting in Chicago will vote on a resolution to encourage contraceptive makers to submit applications to FDA to switch the status of their products from prescription to OTC. "This isn't just a contraception issue.

Delegates at the American Medical Association's annual meeting in Chicago will vote on a resolution to encourage contraceptive makers to submit applications to FDA to switch the status of their products from prescription to OTC. "This isn't just a contraception issue. This is a women's health issue," said Katherine Tynus, MD, who introduced the resolution and works as an internal medicine physician at Northwestern Medical Group in Chicago. More than 100 nations already offer contraception OTC—but the United States does not, aside from the emergency contraceptive often known by the brand name Plan B. Experts who support OTC contraception say it will lower the rate of unplanned pregnancies in the United States, where an estimated 45% of pregnancies are unplanned. Up until now, the drug industry has steered clear of asking FDA to move contraceptives OTC.