For the first time, the US approves the over-the-counter sale of the contraceptive pill

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The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)in English) approved this Thursday the first anticonceptive pill which can be purchased without prescription in the country, this agency reported in a statement.

This approval will allow access to this contraceptive method to millions of people in the United States, stressed Dr. Patrizia Cavazzoni, director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, who stressed that this pill is "safe" and "more effective" that many of the over-the-counter methods used to prevent pregnancies not wanted.

The medicine can be purchased in different types of shops, from parapharmacies to supermarkets, like by Internet.

The date of its commercialization and the price will be determined by the manufacturer of this pill called Opill, details the statement, which underlines the importance of approving this medication because it "reduces access barriers" to this contraceptive method and allows it to be achieved without the need to go to the doctor.

According to FDA data, nearly half of the 6.1 million pregnancies that occur each year in the United States are unintended.

Unwanted pregnancies, the statement added, are related to risks such as premature births or problems of health of newborns.

For this reason, the FDA considers that having access to this contraceptive pill can help reduce unwanted pregnancies and their potential negative effects.

The effectiveness of the pill was already established when it was manufactured for prescription use in 1973.

The pharmaceutical HRA Pharma applied for approval for its use without a prescription, and to be approved it had to demonstrate that the product can be used safely and effectively without the need for assistance from healthcare personnel.

Studies have shown that the information provided by this medicine was high and sufficient for the consumer.

The FDA recalled in its statement the way in which the pill must be taken - every day without fail at the same time - to be effective and reported the side effects or the importance of monitoring its combination with other medications to avoid adverse effects.

He added that this pill does not serve to protect against esexually transmitted diseases or after having unprotected sex.

The FDA's decision has the support of the medical community, as shown by reports from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Medical Association, and the American Academy of Family Physicians, it stressed in a statement. Planned Parenthood, the organization with the largest network of reproductive health clinics in the country.

In said statement, Planned Parenthood includes these reports and recalls that "contraceptive methods are essential reproductive health care."

For this reason, he considers that today's decision represents "a historic moment for equity in health, sexual health and reproductive rights“.

“The data is clear: birth control can be used safely and effectively without a prescription for people of all ages. We are delighted to see the FDA following the science and removing an unnecessary barrier to accessing basic healthcare,” he adds.

Planned Parenthood warns that this decision is "not a solution to the continuing attacks on access to abortion and sexual and reproductive health" in the country, where a year ago the Supreme Court repealed the protection of the constitutional right to voluntary interruption of pregnancy.

But he admits that access to contraceptives "is a fundamental part of protecting" reproductive freedom, especially while states continue to "continue to double down on their unpopular abortion bans and restrictions."

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