FDA panel votes unanimously to make birth control pill available over the counter

FDA sign.
(Image credit: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's advisory panel voted unanimously to make the birth control pill Opill available over the counter, saying that the benefits outweigh the risks, The New York Times reports. "I think Opill has the potential to have a huge positive public health impact," said advisory committee member Kathryn Curtis.

While Opill manufacturer Perrigo called the outcome "groundbreaking," this doesn't mean the pill will be available just yet, CNN writes. The FDA is not required to listen to the advisory committee and will decide whether to make the pill available sometime in the summer. Some agency members are concerned about whether people will use the product as directed, especially those with health conditions and adolescents. "The FDA has been put in a very difficult position of trying to determine whether it is likely that women will use this product safely and effectively at the nonprescription setting," explained Dr. Karen Murry, deputy director of the FDA's office of nonprescription drugs.

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