Statement attributable to:
Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, M.D., M.P.H.
President, American Medical Association

“The FDA’s decision today approving over-the-counter birth control is a monumental step in providing broader access to safe and effective reproductive health care for millions of patients. At a time when reproductive health care services are becoming increasingly limited and reproductive health clinics are closing in several states, improving access to oral contraceptives is critically important to ensure patients can effectively limit unintended pregnancies and manage family planning.

“While we applaud this move, the AMA continues to urge the FDA and HHS to consider a variety of oral contraceptive options for over-the-counter use. It is important patients have options when choosing which type of birth control works best for them. We hope this is just the first of several to be approved, and we urge the FDA to consider applications from the full range of available oral contraceptives for over-the-counter access.”

“We must continue to remove barriers to affordable care for those in underserved, high-poverty, and rural communities. We know barriers to oral contraceptives can lead to inconsistent or discontinued use. While it is important patients maintain relationships with their physician to stay up to date on screenings, requiring an office visit to begin birth control is an unnecessary hurdle for patients who must take time off work, find childcare, and travel to appointments.

“The AMA remains committed to ensuring patients have access to the entire spectrum of reproductive health care services, including safe and affordable oral contraceptives. We look forward to continuing work with the FDA to support patients' right to access essential health care services.”

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The American Medical Association is the physicians’ powerful ally in patient care. As the only medical association that convenes 190+ state and specialty medical societies and other critical stakeholders, the AMA represents physicians with a unified voice to all key players in health care.  The AMA leverages its strength by removing the obstacles that interfere with patient care, leading the charge to prevent chronic disease and confront public health crises and, driving the future of medicine to tackle the biggest challenges in health care.