Pricey morning-after pill may end up behind the counter
WASHINGTON — When it comes to the morning-after pill, one thing is clear: Girls of any age who have unprotected sex or a birth-control mishap will soon be able to walk into a store as early as August and get emergency contraception without a doctor's prescription.
But some independent pharmacists said they will keep the medicine behind the counter, and it could be pricey, so it would have a security tag.
CVS said Plan B One-Step would be displayed in the family planning aisle, in special security packaging.
David Toth, owner of a pharmacy in Washington, said he intends to keep Plan B, which he sells for $42.50, behind the counter, along with other expensive items, to prevent shoplifting. “Anything over $20 is not going to be out front,” Toth said.
Despite the FDA's decision to drop age restrictions, “if someone can't see over the counter” — looks too young — he will refuse to sell it, he said.
Toth's plans complicate the easy access pushed by advocates of emergency contraception and others, who say some girls might be too inhibited to ask for a product kept behind the counter.
“Some people are too scared to buy condoms, so people might be too scared to buy Plan B as well,” said Isabella Albamonte, 17, a high school student.
Another potential barrier is the price. Teva, the maker, said the price to retail and wholesale outlets will remain unchanged, but it remains to be seen whether retailers alter the price they charge consumers.
In general, Plan B has been selling for about $40 to $50, which could be out of reach for younger girls. But there is a way to get it free: the 2010 health-care law. Insurance plans covered by the statute are required to provide all FDA-approved contraceptives at no cost — but only with a prescription. Consumers buying it off the shelf will have to pay full price.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.