Denver, Colo., May 16, 2023 / 14:10 pm
Federal regulators with the Food and Drug Administration should reject proposed over-the-counter use of the progestin-only “minipill” contraceptive, the U.S. bishops have said. They echo other critics who say the drug’s side effects mean patients should have physician supervision while taking the drug.
“It is concerning that the FDA has a recommendation before it to approve over-the-counter hormonal contraception when there is strong evidence of the many harmful risks to women’s health,” Bishop Robert E. Barron of Winona-Rochester, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life, and Youth, said May 15.
An advisory panel to the FDA on May 10 unanimously voted to recommend approval of the Opill birth control pill for over-the-counter availability. A final decision is expected this summer.
The progestin-only contraceptive, sometimes called the “minipill,” was proposed for over-the-counter use by its France-based manufacturer Laboratoire HRA Pharma.