Friday, August 25, 2006

Morning-after Pill Now Available OTC

Here's the article from CNN.com.

I'm not sure how to react to this one, but before I continue, I should explain that the morning-after pill is just a large dose of hormones like the ones in birth control pill. I have no problems with it.

First, the sale of "Plan B" over the counter will cost women more. If it isn't prescription medication, your health insurance won't likely cover it. So instead of paying a $20 copay, we will be stuck with paying whatever the pharmaseutical companies think is an appropriate price for desperate women seeking emergency contraception.

Second, I can understand why birth control pills are available by prescription only. Birth control pills put you at greater risk for a few things, such as blood clots, so a doctor would need to determine if you are in good health and don't have any potential problems, such as high blood pressure. Since these are the same types of hormones, I'm wondering if it would be safe to administer the pill without an exam.

Third, I can understand why it would be important to have this available over the counter. When the clock is ticking, you need contraception NOW. Doctors have a tendancy to not work on weekends, so calling in a prescription isn't always an option. But then, having a ready stock in emergency rooms and clinics that would be open on weekends doesn't sound like too big a deal.

So, like I said, I'm not sure where I stand on this one. I'd like to hear your thoughts.

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