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Greeting Cards, Medications & Contraceptives? Moving the Pill OTC

From the Show: HER
Summary: Are there any setbacks of birth control pills being available over-the-counter?
Air Date: 7/23/15
Duration: 10
Host: Michelle King Robson and Pam Peeke, MD
Guest Bio: Devon Herrick, PhD
HerrickDevon Herrick, Ph.D., is a preeminent expert on 21st century medicine, including the evolution of Internet-based medicine, consumer-driven health care and key changes in the global health market.

He was among the first health policy analysts to identify and publish in-depth policy reports on consumerism in health care, including: medical tourism, telemedicine, retail clinics, concierge medical practices, cosmetic medicine, "shopping for drugs" strategies and value-based health plan design. He has researched personal technology and medical aps that empowers patients to better manage their medical needs.

Dr. Herrick's expertise includes a variety of critical health care issues, such as health insurance and the uninsured, patient empowerment, and trends in federal and state health policy reform. He has conducted about 100 cutting-edge research projects for the NCPA.

As a health care economist, Dr. Herrick speaks on health policy issues nationwide. His comments have appeared in hundreds of media outlets. He writes regularly on health policy for the NCPA and other research organizations, and is a contributing editor of Health Care News. He served two terms as the chair of the Health Economics Roundtable of the National Association for Business Economics.

Dr. Herrick has testified before the U.S. Congress and before state legislatures. He began his career in health care financial management for a large health care system.

Dr. Herrick received a Master of Public Affairs and a Ph.D. in Political Economy from the University of Texas at Dallas.

Dr. Herrick's dissertation research examined patient empowerment through empirical analysis of the Internet and disease advocacy. He also holds advanced degrees in business and finance.
Greeting Cards, Medications & Contraceptives? Moving the Pill OTC
Making oral contraceptives available for purchase without a prescription would give millions of women access to reliable family planning methods, right at your local grocery or drug store.

Allowing "the pill" to be sold over-the-counter (OTC) would also help millions of women find better access, lower costs and added convenience when buying hormonal contraceptives.

Transitioning birth control pills from a prescription drug to an OTC drug could also dramatically lower price. Other medications that have made the jump from prescription to OTC have seen dramatic cost savings:
  • The cost for Prilosec, a heartburn medication, fell from $4 per capsule to 60 cents.
  • Zantac, another heartburn medication, fell from $2.61 per daily dose to $1.66 per month, or about a nickel a day.
  • The cost for Claritin, an allergy medication, fell from $79.99 to $18.88 per month.

Making contraceptives available OTC would not eliminate no-cost insurance coverage of women's annual reproductive health wellness visits or overturn the requirement for most health plans to cover prescription contraceptives.

What other benefits would women have if the pill was moved OTC?

Listen in as Devon Herrick, PhD, shares the idea of the pill moving OTC and the potential benefits and risks.

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