Ibis cited in New York Times article on moving oral contraceptives over the counter

April 2013

April 22, 2013 – Elizabeth Rosenthal’s Sunday Review article, “Is it time for off-the-shelf birth-control pills?,” examines the possibility of moving oral contraceptives (OCs) over the counter (OTC) in the US. The article cites Ibis research showing that one-third of women not currently using contraception or using a less effective method would use the pill if it were available without a prescription. “This is what women want,” Dr. Daniel Grossman, Ibis’s vice president for research, says in the article. 

In November 2012, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists released aCommittee Opinion giving full support for OTC OCs, which states that making OCs available OTC is safe and that women support OTC access to OCs and are able to self-screen with checklists to determine their health risks. Ibis’s research was cited in the Committee Opinion. 

Ibis coordinates the Oral Contraceptives Over-the-Counter Working Group, a coalition of reproductive health, rights, and justice organizations, nonprofit research and advocacy groups, university-based researchers, and prominent clinicians who share a commitment to providing all women of reproductive age easier access to safe, effective, acceptable, and affordable contraceptives. We know that coming up with a prescription in order to obtain the pill can be a barrier for some women. As Dr. Grossman says in the New York Times, “The biggest barrier to adherence is the logistics of a prescription — you run out on a Saturday night, you lose your pills, you go on vacation, you can’t get a doctor’s appointment.”

We are excited that OCs OTC are being discussed in the media, and hopeful that we are moving closer to our goal of getting a registered OTC OC product in the US and improving all women's access to safe, effective contraception.You can keep up to date on news coverage on the resources page of the OCs OTC Working Group website and on the Working Group’s Facebook page