December 17, 2014 — Ibis Reproductive Health has launched a website, FreethePill.org, to provide information and promote efforts related to making a birth control pill available over the counter, the Huffington Post reports. Allowing stores to sell birth control without requiring a prescription would improve access, according to the site's creators.
The site includes information about the safety of OTC birth control and also tracks efforts to require insurers to cover OTC contraceptives (Weingus, Huffington Post, 12/16). Federal guidance on the contraceptive coverage rules under the Affordable Care Act (PL 111-148) states that insurers must cover the full range of FDA-approved methods without cost sharing (Women's Health Policy Report, 9/19). However, the policy only applies to prescriptions. Without insurance coverage, out-of-pocket costs for oral contraceptives can be hundreds of dollars per year.
According to Britt Wahlin, Ibis' director of development and communications, one of the site's goals is to urge more women to call for access to OTC birth control.
Ibis Vice President Daniel Grossman said, "Unplanned pregnancy continues to be an important public health problem in this country. Allowing women to obtain a birth control pill off the drugstore shelf, without needing a prescription, could expand access to contraception and help to reduce unplanned pregnancy" (Huffington Post, 12/16).