U.S. Representatives Mariannette Miller-Meeks (Iowa-01), Jen Kiggans (Va.-02), Lori Chavez-DeRemer (Ore.-05), María Elvira Salazar (Fla.-27), Nicole Malliotakis (N.Y.-11), Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.-14), Young Kim (Calif.-40), Diana Harshbarger (Tenn.-01), and Stephanie Bice (Okla.-05) introduced the Orally Taken Contraception Act of 2023 (OTC Act of 2023), legislation that would require the FDA to send guidance to manufacturers on how to submit successful over-the-counter applications for oral contraceptives. Text of the bill may be found here.
“We must streamline the process for accessing over-the-counter contraceptives,” said Miller-Meeks. “As a physician and former Iowa Director of Public Health, I recognize the need for increased and consistent access to contraceptives. The Orally Taken Contraception Act of 2023 provides options for women seeking preventative contraceptive therapies and is a significant step forward for health care.”
“As a primary healthcare provider, I strongly support expanding access to contraception,” said Kiggans. “I am proud to join my colleagues in introducing this commonsense bill to help make oral birth control available over the counter. Birth control not only prevents unwanted pregnancies but is also an important aspect of healthcare for women. I will continue to be an advocate for increased access to contraception and for ensuring women have the resources they need to choose life.”
“I strongly support efforts to improve accessibility and affordability of over-the-counter birth control for adult women. This legislation seeks to accomplish both by streamlining the manufacturing process to bolster competition, which will drive down prices and expand options for women at the pharmacy counter. I look forward to working with my colleagues on this effort to expand health care choices for women,” said Chavez-DeRemer.
“Our bill streamlines the process for manufacturers to make preventative oral contraceptive therapies more accessible and affordable, empowering women and giving them more birth control options,” said Malliotakis.
“Today, the FDA approved the first over-the-counter birth control pill in the United States. Now more than ever, Congress must work to clarify guidelines and ensure a competitive oral contraceptive market that provides more options and lowers costs. This bill does exactly that,” said Kim. The OTC Act aims to expand access to safe over the counter (OTC) oral contraception by ensuring the FDA follows clear guidelines for approving oral applications, offering streamlined guidance to manufacturers hoping to get an application approved, and simplifying approved contraception labeling to boost consumer awareness and minimize product misuse. Access to safe contraception can be essential for women’s health and wellness. As a mother of four – and to three daughters, I understand how important it is for women to have access to safe birth control, and I will work to support women on all levels.”
“Women across the country, and especially rural women, face continued government and economic barriers when it comes to accessing birth control. At the R Street Institute, we have a free market approach to contraceptive access which boasts that increasing access and reducing government barriers will lead to reduced prices across the board. For that reason, we are thrilled to support and endorse the OTC Act which will help streamline the process to make regular oral contraceptives over the counter. Congresswoman Miller-Meeks’ common sense approach background as a doctor, nurse, mother, and legislator gives her the platform to not only lead on this issue but deliver on it,” said Anthony Lamorena, Senior Federal Affairs Manager at the R Street Institute.
“Rx-to-OTC switches have had a tremendously positive impact on public health over many decades, by increasing access to safe, effective, and more affordable treatment options,” said CHPA President and CEO Scott Melville. “Further encouraging sponsors of oral contraceptive drugs to utilize this pathway is an effort that will help more women meet their reproductive health needs while also saving the U.S. healthcare system significant costs overall. We thank Rep. Miller-Meeks for her leadership on this issue and hope to see even more applications for switch before the FDA.”