We recently wrote about 2 new FDA ideas in order to get medications into patient’s hands faster, with one idea they are exploring to increase the number of available over the counter medications.
In lieu of the discussion on expanding the list of drugs that can be bought without a prescription, it seems as if birth-control advocates are using this opportunity to reignite the debate over reproductive rights.
According to Bloomberg, on March 22 The FDA agency discussed whether cholesterol, asthma, migraine and blood-pressure medications should be sold over-the-counter, a regulatory change intended to lower costs and ease access to drugs for people with chronic ailments. Reproductive-rights advocates took that as an open door to further their agenda and urged that any expansion of nonprescription drugs include birth control.
The FDA began its two-day public hearing to discuss way to enhance pharmacists’ roles in chronic treatments or supplement drug labels in an interactive way that helps people determine whether they have a condition and need a drug, said Janet Woodcock, director of the agency’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. The agency hasn’t taken a position on oral contraception.
Consumers may see their costs go up because insurance plans typically cover only prescription drugs, said Daniel Grossman, a senior associate at Ibis Reproductive Health, a research and advocacy group based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in a telephone interview.
While increased cost is a concern, women still need better access to contraception, said Grossman, who is also appeared at the FDA hearing.
There are some that adamantly oppose the idea of more OTC medications. Such as The American Medical Association, based in Chicago, whom opposes the move to more over-the-counter drugs, arguing at the panel that patient adherence to a medication regimen depends on physicians.