It turns out the FDA already has the power to speed up access to over-the-counter oral contraceptives.
But like most things regulatory, the federal government is just dragging their feet.
U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner politely told the bureaucrats this week to get the lead out, just in a more diplomatic tone, and work with manufacturers to complete the process.
In a letter to the agency Monday, Gardner and Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst explained to the agency how this could be achieved — by following the same streamlining process that gave greater access to the opioid overdose drug, naloxone.
We recognize the public health benefits of providing greater access and choice for American families to contraceptives. For many women across the country, the added strain from a prescription requirement means hours lost from work or their personal lives and increased stress. While some states have undertaken steps to increase access at the pharmacy counter, those efforts fall short of meaningful, widespread adoption of OTC contraceptive availability.
The FDA needs to make this a priority.
It’s amazing to us that the “morning-after” pill can be bought-over-the-counter, but when it comes to “the pill,” the agency is still living in the Stone Age.