First Over-the-Counter Birth Control Pill in the US: Opill Launches Nationwide

March 4, 2024 - Reading time: 2 minutes

The first over-the-counter birth control pill, Opill, is now available for purchase in U.S. stores and pharmacies, allowing American women and teens to buy contraceptive medication as easily as they would aspirin. Manufacturer Perrigo has begun shipping the product nationwide.

A one-month supply of Opill will cost approximately $20, while a three-month supply is priced at around $50. The pill can also be purchased online through various retailers and pharmacies.

Last July, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that Opill could be sold without a prescription. This decision means there will be no age restrictions on sales, similar to other over-the-counter medications available in the U.S.

Opill is an older class of contraceptive known as minipills, which contain only one synthetic hormone, progestin. These pills generally carry fewer side effects than more popular combination estrogen and progestin birth control options.

The introduction of Opill offers U.S. women another option for birth control amidst ongoing legal battles over reproductive health, including the reversal of Roe v. Wade. Anti-abortion groups have emphasized that they do not oppose contraceptives to prevent pregnancies.

While some concerns were raised by FDA scientists about the company's results and whether women with certain medical conditions would understand that they shouldn't take the drug, Dr. Verda Hicks, president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, stated in a press release that studies have shown patients, including adolescents, can effectively screen themselves to use these pills.

The availability of Opill marks an important milestone for women's reproductive health and contraceptive options in the United States. With no age restrictions on sales and a lower price point compared to other birth control pills, this over-the-counter option offers greater accessibility and convenience for American women.


DW Staff

David Lintott is the Editor-in-Chief, leading our team of talented freelance journalists. He specializes in covering culture, sport, and society. Originally from the decaying seaside town of Eastbourne, he attributes his insightful world-weariness to his roots in this unique setting.