In “Opill’s Online Access Will Build On Virtual Repro Health Gains During COVID-19,” InsideHealthPolicy spoke to government and regulatory partner Libby Baney for its weekly newsletter Inside TeleHealth about Opill (norgestrel), an over-the-counter birth control pill, that will be able to be purchased online once it is for sale, likely in early 2024.
Baney noted that Opill’s expected online access will add to the benefit virtual services have had for reproductive health care. “Telehealth can be a powerful tool for improving patient adherence and outcomes, partly due to removing access barriers. Removing the prescription requirement for norgestrel will further reduce barriers to access and give consumers the freedom to choose how to access the product – whether in-person or via an online pharmacy,” she said.
Baney explained that while Congress and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are attempting to increase protections for health data, reducing reliance on a health care provider for obtaining birth control is a way for people to maintain privacy about their reproductive health choices and reduce the amount of health data a patient needs to share with a provider.
With 96% of online pharmacies selling fraudulent and counterfeit products, patients should still be aware that websites could be collecting and storing their information, Baney noted, adding that the online availability of Opill could reduce the chance that people who need contraception will fall into the ruse of fraudulent online pharmacies offering substandard contraception unbeknownst to buyers.
Baney said that while it is likely that counterfeit versions of Opill will be sold by illegal online sellers, international organizations and law enforcement continue to work together to educate people on the telltale signs of falsified and substandard medication as well as online pharmacies and are working to regulate the space.
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