Congress Should 'Bring Back' Discounted Oral Contraceptives

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Discounted Oral Contraceptives

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Congress should "act quickly to bring back" an incentive forpharmaceutical companies to provide discounted oral contraceptives atcollege health centers and community health clinics, which was"inadvertently eliminated" by a 2005 deficit-reduction law that focusedon Medicaid, a Boston Globe editorial says (Boston Globe, 9/14).

Thelaw, which went into effect in January, resulted in drug makers havingto pay more to participate in Medicaid, and fewer drug companies noware providing prescription drug discounts. Some experts have said thatmany students could switch to a generic form of birth control but thatthey might still pay double the previous rate (Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy Report, 3/26). According to the Globe,making birth control pills "less affordable to students and users ofcommunity clinics could undermine one of public health's recentadvances, the decline in the teen pregnancy rate" in the U.S.

Some members of Congress are considering an amendment to a bill related to FDAapprovals that would "restor[e]" the discount incentive topharmaceutical companies, the editorial says. If there is "resistance"to adding the incentive to the FDA bill, "lawmakers should find anotherexpedient way to bring back the discounted pills," the editorialconcludes (Boston Globe, 9/14).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view theentire Kaiser DailyWomen's Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for emaildelivery at kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, afree service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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