Sunday, February 10, 2008

Cheap Birth Control Pills and Federally Mandated Misuse of Emergency Contraception

Kroger Helps


Photo by hamed.


[T]he Cincinnati-based Kroger announced that it will begin selling 30-day supplies of more than 300 generic prescription drugs, including birth control pills, at significant discounts at participating pharmacies nationwide....

The program offers a 28-day supply of birth control for $9...compared with the national average price of $24 to $30 for a monthly supply. Generic versions of Ortho Cyclen and Ortho Tri-Cyclen are also covered.

Politicians Hurt


Photo by junku-newcleus.


The cost of prescription contraceptives at college health clinics in Minnesota has increased up to fivefold since last year....

The reason for the price increase is the incompetence of our politicians an inadvertent change to the federal law that created a financial disincentive for pharmaceutical companies to sell deeply discounted birth control to college clinics. As a result [s]ome college clinics have reported decreases in the number of contraceptives sold, and some students have said they have switched to less expensive methods of contraception or are relying on emergency contraception...

And just in case you missed the significance of the comment about the emergency contraception (EC) use, here it is.

Almost half of pregnancies in the U.S. are unintended. Of these, almost half (48% in 2001) occur during a month when birth control was used. Those who don't regard female patients of reproductive age as garbage offer one solution to this problem: make EC available OTC. Those whose calling is to hurt and degrade female patients (politicians, religionists and their lackeys at the FDA) do everything in their power to deny patients access to this safe and effective drug.

Once the utter morons we allow to have a say in these matters acquiesce and allow EC to be sold OTC, they turn right around and pass a law that practically forces patients to use EC incorrectly, thus totally undermining any potential positive impact EC use might have on reducing the rate of unintended pregnancies.

Brilliant, no?

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2 Comments:

At 10:43 PM, Blogger lyrl said...

There have been a number of studies on access to EC and unintended pregnancy rates. They have all shown no effect.

EC is great for an individual woman in a risky situation, and I'm glad availability is increasing. But it's simply false to claim EC will have any effect on unintended pregnancy rates.

On subsidizing the pill to college students so they get hooked on an expensive birth control method and go on to pay full price when they graduate: I'm glad that has stopped. Hormonal contraception is great for many women, but it's not the only effective birth control method out there, and for many women a different method is better.

 
At 4:21 AM, Blogger ema said...

But it's simply false to claim EC will have any effect on unintended pregnancy rates.

Your assertion is incorrect. The studies you mention [a]lmost all ...found that only a minority of women exposed to the intervention ever used ECPs...., thus we don't yet have adequate data to know what public health effect ECP use will have.

What we do know, as mentioned in my post, is that ECP use has the potential to reduce the unintended pregnancy rate, but that this potential is hindered by ECP misuse, underuse, as well as misguided public policy.

On subsidizing the pill to college students so they get hooked on an expensive birth control method and go on to pay full price when they graduate: I'm glad that has stopped. Hormonal contraception is great for many women, but it's not the only effective birth control method out there, and for many women a different method is better.

Methods in the hormonal group are the most effective. Other than sterilization and the nonhormonal IUD, none of the other methods come even close.

In any case, your glee over reduced availability of highly effective birth control methods to college students is odd. As is your logic.

 

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