April 13, 2017 – OTC and Teens


Anchor lead: Should teenagers be able to access over the counter oral contraceptives? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Teenagers should be able to access over the counter oral contraceptives, based on the scientific literature relative to safety and efficacy, a Johns Hopkins study led by Krishna Upadhya and colleagues has shown.

Upadhya: We wanted to see what information we had about whether or not there should be an age restriction on a future over the counter oral contraceptive product. What we found is that birth control pills are very safe and effective and they’re very safe and effective for teenagers in particular because they tend to have few other health problems. So our findings really were that there’s no good scientific reason why birth control pills should be restricted for teenagers. :28

Upadhya says advocates for adolescent health are trying to get in front of the regulatory environment to make the case that when oral contraceptives are available over the counter, there is no defensible argument for restricting their sale to young women. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.