FDA Approves First OTC Birth Control Pill

group of animated people celebrating

On July 13, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Opill, a progestin-only birth control pill (POP), for over-the-counter (OTC) use. This news, coming after nearly two decades of advocacy and research by the Free the Pill coalition, means the United States will join over 100 countries where OTC birth control pills are available. 

The Free the Pill coalition is a group of more than 200 reproductive rights and justice organizations, groups, and activists “who share a commitment to ensuring more equitable access to safe, effective, and affordable birth control to people of all ages, backgrounds, and identities in the United States.” Since 2004, the coalition has been campaigning in support of OTC birth control pills in the US. Ipas, a former Channel grantee partner, is a member of the Free the Pill coalition.

Victoria Nichols, project director of Free the Pill, stated that “FDA approval is an important step forward” for OTC birth control pills, but that there is more work to be done to ensure these pills are accessible, affordable, and covered by insurance.