Legislation will ensure people across the country can access and afford over-the-counter birth control options and plan their own reproductive lives, on their own terms
San Francisco, CA – Medicines360 applauds congressional health care leaders Sens. Patty Murray, Mazie Hirono, and Catherine Cortez Masto and Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Ami Bera, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for authoring the Affordability is Access Act (S. 4347/ H.R. 7894) and leading the congressional push for equitable access to birth control. This critical legislation will require insurance companies to cover — and retailers to not interfere with access to or purchase of — birth control pills approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as safe and effective over-the-counter medicines, accessible without a prescription.
Statement from Tina Raine-Bennett, MD, MPH, CEO at Medicines360
“At Medicines360, our work is driven by our deep commitment to advancing a better, more equitable future for all women. We believe a critical part of ensuring that women have control over their lives and their futures is ensuring that they can access comprehensive reproductive health care, including contraception. The criteria for whether a safe, effective product should be available over the counter is first that a person be able to make correct decisions about whether or not it is appropriate for them to use a product, and second, that they are able to use the product without assistance from a provider. Women know when they need birth control and taking a daily pill is not complicated. Birth control pills that are available to women over-the-counter should be covered by insurance so they remain accessible and affordable. Medicines360 is proud to support the Affordability is Access Act, and calls on Congress to pass this important legislation without delay.”
The Affordability is Access Act would:
- Ensure coverage of comprehensive preventive health services and expand coverage to include full access to oral contraception for routine, daily over-the-counter use for all. Private health insurance plans are currently required to cover all categories of U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved methods of contraception. The Act would ensure coverage of oral contraception that the FDA has approved or regulated for routine, daily use without a prescription.
- Maintain the FDA’s sole authority to determine the safety and efficacy of drugs and make them available over-the-counter without a prescription.
- Ensure retailers provide oral contraception without a prescription. The Act states that a retailer that stocks oral contraception that the FDA has approved or regulated for routine, daily use without a prescription may not interfere with a consumer’s access to or purchase of such contraception.
Medicines360’s nonprofit mission has always been about closing critical gaps in women’s health care, and ensuring that women have access to the medicines and devices they need to live their best and fullest lives. In the wake of the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Medicines360 recommitted itself to serving women who are disadvantaged and discriminated against in the healthcare system, and vowed to strengthen its work to expand access to affordable birth control options.
Medicines360, located in San Francisco, California, is a global nonprofit women’s health pharmaceutical organization with a mission to catalyze equitable access to medicines and devices through product development, policy advocacy, and collaboration with global and US partners. For more information, visit www.medicines360.org
Press Contact: Stacey Manley
Vice President, Communications & Marketing
[email protected] 415.951.8700