A new study by the University of British Columbia reveals that by making Plan B, a form of emergency contraception (EC), available over the counter, healthcare costs can be dramatically reduced. According to United Press International, the soon to be published research by Dr. Judith Soon concludes that healthcare costs decrease because women who have access to EC can avoid becoming pregnant and can avoid trips to the doctor.
Since emergency contraception became available over the counter (OTC) in Canada in April 2005, EC sales by Doctorsolve, an online Canadian pharmacy, have almost doubled, reports the Kaiser Daily Women’s Health Policy Report. In the United States, women’s health advocates and medical professionals have been frustrated by delays in the approval of OTC status because Plan B is most effective when taken immediately following unprotected sex, contraceptive failure, or sexual assault. It also has the potential to eliminate nearly half of the unwanted pregnancies in the US. Most states require a doctor’s prescription, which takes time and therefore increases risk of pregnancy. Making access even more difficult, in some states pharmacists can refuse to fill EC prescriptions.