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house Bill H.R. 421

Speeding Up FDA Reviews for Over-the-Counter Contraceptives

Argument in favor

The FDA should prioritize these applications so that more safe, affordable contraception can be available to consumers over-the-counter without the need for a prescription.

Tiffanymd's Opinion
···
01/22/2017
As an Ob-Gyn, I agree with a lot of the Nay comments, but with the very real likelihood that ACA will be repealed and possibly Planned Parenthood defunded I would prefer women have access to safe affordable contraception as quickly as possible. While many women have side effect to birth control, many (not all) of these are simply irritating and the pill still provides safe contraception. I would love all women to have access to my care but in our new USA that may not be a reality . Good access to birth control decreases unwanted pregnancy rate and therefor abortion rate as well, it is s win-win. I only pray pharmaceutical companies won't hike the prices too much and insurance companies will still cover the cost for those fortunate enough to still have insurance!
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···
01/21/2017
Don't make this an issue or debate over birth control - speed up FDA reviews of EVERYTHING. That's a huge contributing factor to why medications are so expensive - because it takes ten years of investment from the companies in order to get through the process before they see any return from their investment. Make it quicker so it's cheaper and easier for them (and, consequently, for their competitors as well) so that as many options as possible get to the marketplace as quickly and as cheaply as possible. This should be done across all medications.
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Gary's Opinion
···
01/21/2017
It is extreme important for women to have access to family planning medications. These should be inexpensive and freely available to everyone. I encourage quick FDA approval for OTC.
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Argument opposed

The FDA shouldn’t prioritize applications for contraceptives that would be available over-the-counter over more critical medications that have fewer alternatives

Hanna's Opinion
···
01/21/2017
Health care should be a human right. Women should not have to avoid pelvic exams and shop for expensive Plan B because they can't afford the doctor's visit. Making birth control over the counter may increase access to birth control but it will not increase the access to healthcare and the two go hand in hand. Switch to a single payer system and give women the ability to have the necessary exam and get the proscription. Not all birth controls are created equal. There are varying levels of hormones and different side effects, it's not something that should be selected without the help of your doctor.
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Miranda's Opinion
···
01/21/2017
As a woman with endometriosis who takes a specific type of BC to help regulate my hormones, it took me years and many doctors to find the right prescription because most pharmaceuticals are not one size fits all. BC itself has different types based on hormones. Women going through menopause also frequently take BC as hormonal supplements to help ease the effects on their everyday life. Is this bill going to allow for all the different pills to be OTC? Nuva ring? Patches? IUDs? Tubal litigation? This bill is too vague and does not account for the complexities in individual patients. Or rather, it may allow for people like me to have to pay full price for the expensive hormonal remedies we need to function in day to day life. There are other uses for BC besides birth control.
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Rebekah's Opinion
···
01/22/2017
On the surface it seems like a good idea. However...OTCs are generally not covered by insurance, which could actually lead to less use of birth control pills, not more, as they would be priced out of many women's budgets. There are already a number of birth control methods available , so this is mis-direction. It is not the FDA that is blocking access to BC. Further, there are already a number of BC pills with wildly differing hormonal make-ups that affect women in different and individual ways. BC is not "one size fits all". Choosing the correct one needs to be a discussing with a doctor, not a matter of which box is cheapest or has the nicest packaging. Finally the FDA not only needs to speed up its review and oversight process completely but it needs a thorough conflict of interest review and corruption purge. Women's access to BC needs to be easier and cheaper but this bill is not the way to do it.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Energy and Commerce
      Health
      Committee on Ways and Means
      Health
    IntroducedJanuary 10th, 2017
    As an Ob-Gyn, I agree with a lot of the Nay comments, but with the very real likelihood that ACA will be repealed and possibly Planned Parenthood defunded I would prefer women have access to safe affordable contraception as quickly as possible. While many women have side effect to birth control, many (not all) of these are simply irritating and the pill still provides safe contraception. I would love all women to have access to my care but in our new USA that may not be a reality . Good access to birth control decreases unwanted pregnancy rate and therefor abortion rate as well, it is s win-win. I only pray pharmaceutical companies won't hike the prices too much and insurance companies will still cover the cost for those fortunate enough to still have insurance!
    Like (739)
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    Fund planned parenthood.
    Like (132)
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    Health care should be a human right. Women should not have to avoid pelvic exams and shop for expensive Plan B because they can't afford the doctor's visit. Making birth control over the counter may increase access to birth control but it will not increase the access to healthcare and the two go hand in hand. Switch to a single payer system and give women the ability to have the necessary exam and get the proscription. Not all birth controls are created equal. There are varying levels of hormones and different side effects, it's not something that should be selected without the help of your doctor.
    Like (129)
    Follow
    Share
    Don't make this an issue or debate over birth control - speed up FDA reviews of EVERYTHING. That's a huge contributing factor to why medications are so expensive - because it takes ten years of investment from the companies in order to get through the process before they see any return from their investment. Make it quicker so it's cheaper and easier for them (and, consequently, for their competitors as well) so that as many options as possible get to the marketplace as quickly and as cheaply as possible. This should be done across all medications.
    Like (102)
    Follow
    Share
    I am really struggling with this one, as I would vote differently depending on the state of the HC system. If I were assured that Planned Parenthood and ACA would remain in tact and accessible, I would vote NO, but what if...? Access to safe, effective birth control will be so important.
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    As a woman with endometriosis who takes a specific type of BC to help regulate my hormones, it took me years and many doctors to find the right prescription because most pharmaceuticals are not one size fits all. BC itself has different types based on hormones. Women going through menopause also frequently take BC as hormonal supplements to help ease the effects on their everyday life. Is this bill going to allow for all the different pills to be OTC? Nuva ring? Patches? IUDs? Tubal litigation? This bill is too vague and does not account for the complexities in individual patients. Or rather, it may allow for people like me to have to pay full price for the expensive hormonal remedies we need to function in day to day life. There are other uses for BC besides birth control.
    Like (64)
    Follow
    Share
    On the surface it seems like a good idea. However...OTCs are generally not covered by insurance, which could actually lead to less use of birth control pills, not more, as they would be priced out of many women's budgets. There are already a number of birth control methods available , so this is mis-direction. It is not the FDA that is blocking access to BC. Further, there are already a number of BC pills with wildly differing hormonal make-ups that affect women in different and individual ways. BC is not "one size fits all". Choosing the correct one needs to be a discussing with a doctor, not a matter of which box is cheapest or has the nicest packaging. Finally the FDA not only needs to speed up its review and oversight process completely but it needs a thorough conflict of interest review and corruption purge. Women's access to BC needs to be easier and cheaper but this bill is not the way to do it.
    Like (40)
    Follow
    Share
    Hormonal birth control should be discussed with a healthcare professional. Better course of action would be to fund Planned Parenthood and take other measures to ensure the universal right to medical care.
    Like (34)
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    Access does not equal affordability, and women's healthcare needs to be holistic, with easy, safe, local access to OBGYN care to ensure the hormonal dosage matches the patient. OTC would be wonder to have as an option, but not at the expense of a lost line item in ACA requirements that other forms or prescription methods be covered by insurance companies.
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    Funding Planned Parenthood and keeping birth control funded under ACA are better "plan a's". This won't cover women that can't afford it OTC.
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    It is extreme important for women to have access to family planning medications. These should be inexpensive and freely available to everyone. I encourage quick FDA approval for OTC.
    Like (23)
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    While I think that BC should be more accessible, they should also be less expensive and making them OTC could drive up the price and insurance won't pay for it. Not to mention, this could hurt Planned Parenthood even more. This bill should be revised or a whole new bill should be written to provide more options- a generic OTC pill, and more that you need a prescription for if you have more needs as far as hormones go. This is not a quick fix issue and we can't treat it as such.
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    Living in a conservative state that seeks to limit or ban abortion completely, contraceptives are key to preventing abortions. The research supports this claim. It's time for our elected representatives to support it as well.
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    This sounds like a lobbyist bill to make it faster and easier for drug companies to make money. Instead of bills like this, Congress should make the FDA encourage big pharma to create the medications we need, NOT just those that make a lot of money for their pockets. This is 1 business area where Congress should be involved!
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    I'd prefer that we don't eliminate funding to Planned Parenthood instead. This way, people can be counseled by a doctor when selecting a contraceptive.
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    oral contraceptives can be extremely detrimental to one's health. it is UNBELIEVABLY easy to access birth control currently, plus it's usually insured. that will go by the wayside when it's OTC....there is such a thing as over the counter birth control; it's called a box of condoms, and they're free at planned parenthood. i'm all for accessibility and good sense, which is why i hope that doctors will continue to be transparent about the potential risks associated with bc pills.
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    This is an effort to remove Contraceptive coverage from insurance. It has nothing to do with supporting women. It has everything to do with Religious ideologies and their attacks on Women’s liberties. This does not serve Society’s best interest.
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    Safe and effective birth control should be available for anyone that needs it.
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    Fund planned parenthood
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    I worry that by offering OCP over the counter, insurance will no longer cover the monthly medication and the cost will increase. This has happened with many other current OTC medications such as nasacort.
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