Over-the-counter oral contraceptive approved by FDA

Friday, July 14, 2023

Dr. Sarah Prager
UW Medicine
Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Opill (norgestrel) tablet for nonprescription use to prevent pregnancy— the first daily oral contraceptive approved for use in the U.S. without a prescription. 

Approval of this progestin-only oral contraceptive pill provides an option for consumers to purchase oral contraceptive medicine without a prescription at drug stores, convenience stores and grocery stores, as well as online.  

The timeline for availability and price of this nonprescription product is determined by the manufacturer. Other approved formulations and dosages of other oral contraceptives will remain available by prescription only. 

Dr. Sarah Prager, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Washington School of Medicine and the director of the department’s family planning division, expects the expanded availability to have widespread positive impact.

“Honestly, it impacts everybody because it doesn't matter what socioeconomic or sociodemographic group somebody is in: Almost all people who are using contraception at one point or another find themselves with a prescription that has run out, and the pharmacy is closed or they can't get in to see their clinician to get a refill, or they're traveling or some (other) barrier to being able to effectively contracept,” Prager said.



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