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Ortho-McNeil Reduces Price Hike for Birth Control

After drastically increasing the price of birth control pills and patches for the nation’s family planning clinics, Ortho-McNeil announced last week that it will lower its price so that contraceptives will remain affordable. The price hike would have severely limited the services of many family planning clinics that serve low-income women and students.

It was announced in July that Ortho-McNeil would raise prices form just $0.01 to $21.01 for birth control pills and from $12.15 to $22.46 for the patch. Some clinics were considering reducing their hours and closing some locations in order to continue to function if the price was to increase that much, Slate reports. Many clinics were distributing birth control pills and patches for free; such a price jump would have limited access for many low-income women.

The company has not yet released its new price for contraceptives for family planning clinics, but Ortho-McNeil spokeswoman Julie Keenan told the Chicago Tribune, “We will be the lowest cost provider of oral contraceptives to public health services.”

Sources:

Chicago Tribune 8/26/2006; Kaiser Network 8/29/2006; Feminist Daily News Wire 8/18/2006; Slate 8/29/2006, 8/23/2006

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