Jindal: Make the Pill an over-the-counter medication

posted at 12:01 pm on December 14, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

For the past year, the US has spent an enormous amount of time debating what the CDC rather conclusively reported was a non-issue in 2009 — access to birth control.  Democrats rode the “war on women” meme to a decisive advantage among single women in the election last month, despite the evidence that this was nothing more than demagoguery.  Since the evidence got subsumed by the emotional appeal in the election, though, Republicans have wondered how to defuse this “issue” in future elections.  Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal offers a proposal to make birth-control medication an over-the-counter purchase to simplify access and end the potency of the political argument:

As an unapologetic pro-life Republican, I also believe that every adult (18 years old and over) who wants contraception should be able to purchase it. But anyone who has a religious objection to contraception should not be forced by government health-care edicts to purchase it for others. And parents who believe, as I do, that their teenage children shouldn’t be involved with sex at all do not deserve ridicule.

Let’s ask the question: Why do women have to go see a doctor before they buy birth control? There are two answers. First, because big government says they should, even though requiring a doctor visit to get a drug that research shows is safe helps drive up health-care costs. Second, because big pharmaceutical companies benefit from it. They know that prices would be driven down if the companies had to compete in the marketplace once their contraceptives were sold over the counter.

So at present we have an odd situation. Thanks to President Obama and the pro-choice lobby, women can buy the morning-after pill over the counter without a prescription, but women cannot buy oral contraceptives over the counter unless they have a prescription. Contraception is a personal matter—the government shouldn’t be in the business of banning it or requiring a woman’s employer to keep tabs on her use of it. If an insurance company or those purchasing insurance want to cover birth control, they should be free to do so. If a consumer wants to buy birth control on her own, she should be free to do so.

Over-the-counter contraception would be easier to obtain if not for some unfortunate aspects of President Obama’s health-care law. One of the most egregious elements of that law is the hampering of Health Savings Accounts, which have become increasingly popular in recent years because they give Americans choices in how to spend their money on health care. By removing the ability of citizens to use their HSAs to purchase over-the-counter medicine tax-free if they don’t have a doctor’s prescription, President Obama hurt many middle-class families who counted on using their HSA dollars every flu season to take care of their children. Health Savings Accounts should cover over-the-counter purchases, and those should include contraception.

It’s time to put purchasing power back in the hands of consumers—not employers, not pharmaceutical companies, and not bureaucrats in Washington. The great thing about America is that power doesn’t come from government, but from people. It’s time to reclaim that power. It’s time to stop government from dividing people or insulting deeply held religious beliefs, and return the country to the path that has always made it great—one where Americans respect and value their fellow citizens, no matter their creed.

As an unapologetically pro-life Catholic who is also Republican, I have no problem with this, either.  I may not choose to use birth control, and may argue that its use has eroded family life and created a number of social ills, but that’s true of many products and services in our time that are not illegal.  Those arguments can and will be made in cultural debates, but it’s not the role of government to deny access to medication that doesn’t harm others, or to needlessly put barriers to its access.  That’s not at all the same thing as arguing that “access” equates to “someone else pays for it,” but it puts the responsibility for its use — and its consequences — on the consumer, where it belongs.  The arguments against contraception should take place in the cultural arena, not the political arena.

Two issues arise from this proposal, though.  First, while I appreciate what Jindal says about the hypocrisy of having morning-after abortive pills available OTC but the Pill on prescription-only access, this same hypocrisy can be offered about the need to restrict access to most medications based on doctor’s notes.  The Pill has significant hormonal impact and other side effects, short- and long-term.  If that’s acceptable for OTC sales, why not Lipitor?  Cialis? Synthroid? Epogen?  If we can trust women to handle the Pill responsibly (and we can, even if we have other disagreements about its use in general), why not men and women for most other medications, too?  Stopping at the Pill seems a little difficult to justify intellectually except as a way to defuse an incredibly dishonest political line of attack.

Second, while I’d support this idea anyway, Jindal is being a little naive about this proposal’s ability to defuse the “war on women” attack.  First, the attack was nonsense on stilts from the very beginning, since Republicans never proposed restricting contraception in the first place, not even to scale back the Title X federal funding of contraception through Medicaid.  The Pill might require a prescription, but the overhead on seeing a physician once per year to get one isn’t enough of a barrier to create unwanted pregnancies at a level detectable in the 20-year CDC study linked above, and one can get generic versions of the Pill for as little as eight dollars a month now.  The abortion battle won’t end with this proposal, and I suspect Jindal would be less sanguine about dropping his opposition to that as a fellow pro-life Catholic.

Finally, demagoguery doesn’t work because of rational arguments and evidence.  It usually works in contravention to both, since one doesn’t need demagoguery when the facts are on one’s side.  Demagoguery works in ignorance of facts and rationality by playing on fear and emotion. This proposal should be pursued on its merits, but don’t expect it to change anything.


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For you men who don’t know, bras are usually designed poorly and cost way too much. Yet they are a necessity. So I want to see the design and delivery system regulated by a top-down, central planning Government agency

LetsBfrank on December 14, 2012 at 1:02 PM

Love it! :-D

I wholeheartedly agree, we should welcome the same people who brought us the TSA to give American women some high quality bras. Hell, let them design it, they’ve already patted them down before, so they’ve got an idea.

Liberty 5-3001 on December 14, 2012 at 1:07 PM

This is as good a solution to demagoguery as Jindal’s.

LetsBfrank on December 14, 2012 at 1:02 PM

I’m trying to imagine what kind of product would emerge from a government-managed project to create a better designed bra. One thing for sure- It would be over-designed, over-budget, and unimproved over the old design.

Happy Nomad on December 14, 2012 at 1:09 PM

Why is any medication require a prescription? In my grandparents day, one could walk into a drug store and buy laudanum, and there was not opium addicts laying around everywhere.

booger71 on December 14, 2012 at 1:11 PM

My wife has tried several forms over the last few years and each one seems to have some new random side effect ranging from migraines to other unpleasantness, that’s why you need a doctor, to advise you on which type to take.

John_Locke on December 14, 2012 at 12:07 PM

LOL…Hahahaha…let me get this straight. Currently you need a doctor to get a prescription for birth control pills. These doctors prescribe your wife the pill, then she gets various side effects – such as headaches – but your answer is to continue to get a doctors approval because the previous doctor prescribed a pill that caused your wife to suffer from side effects. WTF?

MoreLiberty on December 14, 2012 at 12:18 PM

Headache?! Forgive me, however, this sounds like an excuse
to not, well you know…and you fell for it! LOL

Amjean on December 14, 2012 at 1:12 PM

This isn’t like buying asprin- there can be interactions with other drugs.
Happy Nomad on December 14, 2012 at 1:01 PM

There is a reason that a prescription is now required for birth control pills. They can, and often do have dangerous side effects in some women. They aren’t ‘benign’ by any means.
JannyMae on December 14, 2012 at 12:57 PM

1) Aspirin, at one point in time, used to require a prescription – as did ibuprofen, acetaminaphen, and many other drugs that are now OTC.
2) Even aspirin can have interactions with other drugs – sometimes fatal.

Lots of OTC drugs can have bad interactions with other drugs and other substances (e.g. alcohol). That on its own is not a justification to prevent the pill from being OTC. These same arguments have been used over and over through the years for nearly every drug that was ever moved from prescription to OTC.

dentarthurdent on December 14, 2012 at 1:13 PM

I tried posting a comment with that word, and it didn’t show up. When I tried again, it said, “you’ve already posted that”.

So do you think that drug should be OTC?

Ward Cleaver on December 14, 2012 at 12:56 PM

What part of “all drugs should be over the counter” is confusing? I stated it, and then you’ve twice asked me if a certain drug should be over the counter. The answer is yes. I don’t understand how you could possibly be confused about this.

Dante on December 14, 2012 at 1:14 PM

Why is any medication require a prescription? In my grandparents day, one could walk into a drug store and buy laudanum, and there was not opium addicts laying around everywhere.

booger71 on December 14, 2012 at 1:11 PM

You must not take any daily medical prescriptions. I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic, but in case you weren’t…

Two words: NEGATIVE INTERACTIONS.

There are only so many warnings that can be physically placed on an OTC box. That’s why harmless stuff like Aspirin can be OTC, but all psychiatric drugs and many others (just listen to all those warnings the narrators have to read on pharmaceutical advertisements).

Liberty 5-3001 on December 14, 2012 at 1:16 PM

I hate to say it, but Jindal is beginning to sound like he hired a campaign guru and is out spouting talking points.

PattyJ on December 14, 2012 at 1:21 PM

Maybe I am naive, but are people seriously walking basket cases/medical disasters? Not sure if it is just my pure HotAirian genes, but I have not been to a doctor in years.

We spend too much time and money placing doctors/teachers/sportsentertainers/movie stars on pedestals. It’s as if we still think doctors know everything and they are the fount of knowledge, and moreover, that we can never learn what they learn. Think logically. They learned their craft, and so can you. Take responsibility for your choices and learn how medications affect you and which to take. Do research. So many people sound like they are dependent on government to tell them what to do when you know they couldn’t find their own bum if they were sitting on it!

The FDA kills more people per year by not allowing new medications on the market than it can ever hope to save from bad drugs. It is not in the interest of industry to kill off consumers. Unless you feel the Dems were right all along…

antisense on December 14, 2012 at 1:22 PM

dentarthurdent on December 14, 2012 at 1:13 PM

It’s about genuine risk. Millions of people safely take aspirin/ibuprofen/advil without all-but-nonexistant interaction with other drugs, and even if they’re worried, the small number of warnings are right on the box.

What drugs wouldn’t you want to be OTC, and why? Because whatever your reasons are, those are the same reasons for keeping hormonal birth control prescritpion-only. Condoms can be over the counter, because ultimately the only risk is 1, failing to use it properly and resulting in a pregnancy, and 2, potential rash in people with a latex allergy. That’s it. Whereas there are ENDLESS SEVERE NEGATIVE INTERACTIONS between BC and many other prescription drugs, often resulting in one drug reducing the effectiveness of the other drug. If everything becomes OTC, then medical malpractice lawyers will be in heaven.

Liberty 5-3001 on December 14, 2012 at 1:22 PM

Birth control did not contribute to the denigration of society in any form – what it did was free up women. From the burden of
having “so many children she didn’t know what to do”. Society
back in the 50′s had women doing ALL the work with the home and
the children; men rarely changed a diaper. It also made children’s lives better; less children means more attention and resources
focused on the fewer children in the home.

Women now have choices. Some “control freaks” object to that.
Too bad!

Did birth control contribute to the sexual revolution? Yes, it
did. So what?!

Amjean on December 14, 2012 at 1:24 PM

Maybe I am naive, but are people seriously walking basket cases/medical disasters? Not sure if it is just my pure HotAirian genes, but I have not been to a doctor in years.

We spend too much time and money placing doctors/teachers/sportsentertainers/movie stars on pedestals.

While I agree that nanny statism should not replace a person’s responsibility for their own well-being, it’s not reasonable to expect that a person is going to automatically know about the endless interactions that could occur with their existing medications, or always have the time to research it. This is what medical degrees are for, and Google or WebMD is not going to replace it. A doctor is still the best person to advise a patient on what medications they can take, in what amount, how often, how long they can take it, etc etc. Even a pharmacist doesn’t have someone’s medical history available to them.

Liberty 5-3001 on December 14, 2012 at 1:28 PM

A. As a doctor I have no problem with MOST but not all drugs being OTC. Every drug has risks, some much greater than others.

B. You don’t pay the doctor for the prescription. You pay for the knowledge of the medications and which one will likely work the best for you and your disease. You pay for the pathophysiology lesson they are supposed to give you on WHY you need the drug. You pay for the counsiling session you’re supposed to give that 14-45 year old asking for OCP’s on sexual anatomy, function and the possible side effects of having sex. (FYI, pregnancy sucks, it ain’t for wussies)

C. I think antibiotics shoudn’t be OTC, they are way overprescribed and resistance is becoming a big issue.

D. Some drugs like digitalis have a narrow theraputic window, and can easily kill you. They shouldn’t be OTC.

E. BTW – OCPs shouldn’t be given to women over 35 that smoke becuase of the elevated risk of DVT and PE which can be fatal.

Green_Bay_Packers on December 14, 2012 at 1:29 PM

While I agree that nanny statism should not replace a person’s responsibility for their own well-being, it’s not reasonable to expect that a person is going to automatically know about the endless interactions that could occur with their existing medications, or always have the time to research it. This is what medical degrees are for, and Google or WebMD is not going to replace it. A doctor is still the best person to advise a patient on what medications they can take, in what amount, how often, how long they can take it, etc etc. Even a pharmacist doesn’t have someone’s medical history available to them.

Liberty 5-3001 on December 14, 2012 at 1:28 PM

It’s always amusing (sad, really) to see leftist, big government arguments by so-called conservatives on a so-called conservative website.

Dante on December 14, 2012 at 1:31 PM

Jindal: Make the Pill an over-the-counter medication

How about doing the same for viagra, you misanthropic twits. If a womyn has the right to control her own body, why doesn’t a man? If a womyn can get free condoms, why can’t a man?

Old Country Boy on December 14, 2012 at 1:40 PM

It’s always amusing (sad, really) to see leftist, big government arguments by so-called conservatives on a so-called conservative website.

Dante on December 14, 2012 at 1:31 PM

It’s “leftist” to say I prefer my doctor’s advice to WebMD, and that I don’t trust some state government official over the doc’s I’ve had for years at the very successful county-wide private medical practice I’ve used my whole life? Well then color me leftist, I had no idea!

Liberty 5-3001 on December 14, 2012 at 1:42 PM

Great idea! Jindal seems to be the only one thinking outside of the box. We need to stop the Dems from making this a political issue one way or the other.

But if a women is so dumb to think conservatives actually want or could ban the pill, there is no hope for them anyway.

HellCat on December 14, 2012 at 1:46 PM

It’s not reasonable to expect that all of these risks are eliminated simply because a physician writes a prescription.

blink on December 14, 2012 at 1:39 PM

Nothing is 100% safe; Doctors aren’t perfect, there are good doctors, and mediocre-to-bad doctors. But wouldn’t you say that if a person had a severe medical problem (especially one that may require psychiatric meds, those aren’t OTC), that they shouldn’t go figure out a cure for themselves while walking through the aisles at Walgreen’s?

Liberty 5-3001 on December 14, 2012 at 1:46 PM

FYI, pregnancy sucks, it ain’t for wussies

Green_Bay_Packers on December 14, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Well the latter is definitely true!

Liberty 5-3001 on December 14, 2012 at 1:47 PM

I hate to say it, but Jindal is beginning to sound like he hired a campaign guru and is out spouting talking points.

PattyJ on December 14, 2012 at 1:21 PM

Now that he’s got his fancy RGA title, I think this comment came from a desire to find a “compromise” for the party nationally.

Liberty 5-3001 on December 14, 2012 at 1:51 PM

Not sure how saying birth control should be OTC is a compromise. Unless ofcourse the R viewpoint is that it shouldn’t be legal at all.

antisense on December 14, 2012 at 1:55 PM

It’s “leftist” to say I prefer my doctor’s advice to WebMD, and that I don’t trust some state government official over the doc’s I’ve had for years at the very successful county-wide private medical practice I’ve used my whole life? Well then color me leftist, I had no idea!

Liberty 5-3001 on December 14, 2012 at 1:42 PM

No, it’s a leftist argument to say that government knows better and then advocate for force of government to prevent people from exercising their right to make decisions for themselves.

Dante on December 14, 2012 at 1:56 PM

hmmm… maybe it isn’t such a bad idea. Perhaps if some restriction on purchase can be sorted out (have to be 18, have to purchase from a licensed pharmacist who can consult with you about potential side effects) then I could see it being a go.

theblackcommenter on December 14, 2012 at 1:59 PM

Btw, I’m not Dante. I don’t think that all meds should be available OTC. I do, however believe that the line is drawn far too conservatively.

blink on December 14, 2012 at 2:06 PM

Haha don’t worry, I didn’t mistake you for Dante. I don’t think Jindal’s crazy for suggesting this, only that this would be a big step and I think he’s only proposing for politically-motived reasons as he states, to get religiously-affiliated out the Obamacare requirements. But ACOG agrees with him, so I welcome the debate. Should this be like the morning after pill, where it’s OTC, but you still have to be 18? There’s a lot of wiggle room for how this could be carried.

My only concern over this is a personal one, because if a young girl like myself who is already on a prescription medication suddenly decides to pick up birth control while she’s at a pharmacy like she’s buying a bottle of tylenol, there will almost certainly be severe medical complications for some women.

Liberty 5-3001 on December 14, 2012 at 2:17 PM

What part of “all drugs should be over the counter” is confusing?

Dante

No, every drug shouldn’t be OTC…antibiotics in particular. Misuse/abuse of antibiotics creates drug-resistant strains, and that has the potential to affect everyone. Preventing such a thing isn’t big government policy, it’s common sense policy.

xblade on December 14, 2012 at 2:41 PM

The funny thing here is that every one commenting against Jindal’s suggestion knows what are the side effects of taking a medication. That is precisely the point that Jindal is making here. That people are not dumb. They know for most parts what are the side effects of a medication, or that it can have side effects in which case they are free by THEIR OWN VOLITION to consult a doctor and figure things out. All drugs have some side effect or the other. Currently the line drawn between OTC drugs and prescription drugs are based on the assumption that people are dumb and that assumption is erroneous. If some one is sure that a drug is not harmful (mostly from prior experience) he need not get a prescription from doctor for it.

CoolAir on December 14, 2012 at 2:42 PM

it’s common sense policy.

xblade on December 14, 2012 at 2:41 PM

Common sense it something severely lacking in dante.

If he ever got the state he dreams about he wouldn’t be able to survive in it.

cozmo on December 14, 2012 at 2:55 PM

No, every drug shouldn’t be OTC…antibiotics in particular. Misuse/abuse of antibiotics creates drug-resistant strains, and that has the potential to affect everyone. Preventing such a thing isn’t big government policy, it’s common sense policy.

xblade on December 14, 2012 at 2:41 PM

And the merchant has every right to restrict the sale of his property if he chooses. This does not mean that government must be involved.

Dante on December 14, 2012 at 3:27 PM

In a country where college grads are often minimally literate and utterly innumerate, we’re going to let the public wade through the medical jargon laden legalese of a hormonal based BC pill and figure out what dose to take, and how to take it properly, and to understand the possible side effects and how to spot drug interactions?

Yeah, right.

krome on December 14, 2012 at 3:42 PM

The Pill has significant hormonal impact and other side effects, short- and long-term. If that’s acceptable for OTC sales, why not Lipitor? Cialis? Synthroid? Epogen?

Exactly. This is a foolish political move.

INC on December 14, 2012 at 3:43 PM

Just make sure the manufacturers aren’t liable for sterility or women developing any problems with their “lady parts.” If Ms Fluke doesn’t think she should coordinate with her gyn before she pushes extra hormones into her system she better not whine when that system goes out of wack.

katiejane on December 14, 2012 at 4:13 PM

Two words: NEGATIVE INTERACTIONS.

Liberty 5-3001 on December 14, 2012 at 1:16 PM

Two words: FREE CHOICE

For the life of me – can anyone explain to me why Conservatives actively b1tch about the “nanny state” while they insist that everyone needs a “nanny” to watch over what people put into their own bodies?

Negative Interactions? How about this – how about – we leave the “research” on such interactions up to the individual? If he screws it up – he dies. The rest of us can point to him and say … “See, you shouldn’t do that”.

You guys wonder why you LOST your asses in 2012? It’s because you scream about “liberty! liberty! liberty!” and in the very next breath you’re denying it to anyone who wants to smoke a joint or buy sex for $$.

HondaV65 on December 14, 2012 at 4:17 PM

In a country where college grads are often minimally literate and utterly innumerate, we’re going to let the public wade through the medical jargon laden legalese of a hormonal based BC pill and figure out what dose to take, and how to take it properly, and to understand the possible side effects and how to spot drug interactions?

Yeah, right.

krome on December 14, 2012 at 3:42 PM

So, you appear to be acknowledging that most or maybe just an aweful lot of the population is too stupid to take care of themselves, which I interpret as saying we need a nanny state for our own good.
I’m wrong with that interpretation of your comment?
Welcome to the Idiocracy.

dentarthurdent on December 14, 2012 at 4:24 PM

C. I think antibiotics shoudn’t be OTC, they are way overprescribed and resistance is becoming a big issue.
Green_Bay_Packers on December 14, 2012 at 1:29 PM

I agree that there are drugs that should be controlled by prescription, but this comment of yours just hits me as very contradictory. Antibiotics shouldn’t be OTC – because doctors already over-prescribe them?
Sounds to me like you just made a good case for letting the public do what they want – since the doctors apparently aren’t doing much to restrict usage – how much worse could it really be if they were OTC?

dentarthurdent on December 14, 2012 at 4:29 PM

There is a reason that a prescription is now required for birth control pills. They can, and often do have dangerous side effects in some women. They aren’t ‘benign’ by any means.

Another reason I wouldn’t vote for Jindal.

JannyMae on December 14, 2012 at 12:57 PM

You mean like Fluid retention (edema), blood clots, heart attacks, hypertension and heart failure?

Ooops. That one is already OTC.

Random Numbers (Brian Epps) on December 14, 2012 at 4:30 PM

Negative Interactions? How about this – how about – we leave the “research” on such interactions up to the individual? “See, you shouldn’t do that”.

Not every single solitary bit of medical information is out there for every individual to locate, this is what doctors are for. WebMD doesn’t have everything, nor does Google, nor does Wikipedia. And even when they do have some bits of information, it’s not always going to be understandable to the vast majority of people who don’t have a medical degree.

For example, I take both hormonal birth control and an epilepsy medication. I probably could have gone online and looked up what drugs are out there (at least a dozen, per my last count). But I don’t have the knowledge to know what’s best for me with something that complex (And oh, potentially fatal!), which is why I need a doctor to write prescriptions. I’m not going to “experiment” on own with that kind of medicine.

And after that, I had no idea how complicated the interactions between different varieties & dosages of BC and different varieties & dosages of epilepsy drugs there are, which are also not detailed online. THIS IS WHAT DOCTORS’ PRESCRIPTIONS ARE FOR, and it’s not “nanny” statism, it’s common sense

Liberty 5-3001 on December 14, 2012 at 4:37 PM

You’re [sic] wife should be consulting with a pharmacist, not a doctor.

Dante on December 14, 2012 at 12:27 PM

No one is suggesting taking the doctor out of the loop.

Dante on December 14, 2012 at 12:31 PM

Uhm…

Left Coast Right Mind on December 14, 2012 at 4:40 PM

Random Numbers (Brian Epps) on December 14, 2012 at 4:30 PM

Brian, it’s not about side effects from the hormonal birth control. It’s about drug interactions with something else a woman might already be taking in addition to the birth control. There are, what, thousands of drugs out there a person can take? The potential interactions with other drugs are numerous, and are far too myriad to list on a theoretical OTC box of birth control. It’s common sense. Many times the potential negative effects is that one of two (or more) drugs may reduce the effectiveness of the other. So the result is either “Surprise! You’re pregnant” or anything bad that results from the other drug you’re taking not working

Liberty 5-3001 on December 14, 2012 at 4:42 PM

And the merchant has every right to restrict the sale of his property if he chooses. This does not mean that government must be involved.

Dante on December 14, 2012 at 3:27 PM

For the life of me – can anyone explain to me why Conservatives actively b1tch about the “nanny state” while they insist that everyone needs a “nanny” to watch over what people put into their own bodies? HondaV65 on December 14, 2012 at 4:17 PM

I get the point about nanny statism and free choice but this isn’t about choosing a 17oz soda. There are serious health implications that doctors study for years. You aren’t paying the doctor for the prescription but for his/her knowledge of medicine, your personal medical history and drug interactions. If every drug is otc, there will be people who won’t contact a doctor and self-diagnose. That’s not good for individuals or public health. Some drugs probably can be otc but not all.
If we want to get the government out of the equation maybe doctors should get together and determine which drugs can reasonably be self-prescribed and which should really be recommended by a physician.

hopeful on December 14, 2012 at 4:56 PM

I am steadily losing respect for Jindal. After Romney’s loss, he is looking more and more like someone who is just blaming conservatives and trying to further the GOP’s transition into being democrats in order to bring in more votes, regardless of your principles.

For one thing, it won’t work, liberals will never vote for Republicans regardless and will just end up seeing them as immoral as they are, but also as weak and spineless. Neither will his idea about the pill stop some people from demanding that the government pay for their “medication”, they are too entitlement-minded and too far gone.

Sterling Holobyte on December 14, 2012 at 5:08 PM

My wife has tried several forms over the last few years and each one seems to have some new random side effect ranging from migraines to other unpleasantness, that’s why you need a doctor, to advise you on which type to take.

John_Locke on December 14, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Ding ding ding we have the winner! This is why it needs to be monitored.

And yet she experienced all the bad side effects EVEN THOUGH they were prescribed by her doctor. I’m not sure what argument you’re trying to make.

blink on December 14, 2012 at 12:09 PM

This is EXACTLY WHY a doctor is needed. You really think most Americans are smart enough to figure stuff out like this? What happens if its just a case of the flu or something else going on not related to the medication? Thats why you DOCTOR monitors it and figures this stuff out. Then again you would be more than happy to let ill fall on people and God forbid have died or have something really go wrong…

watertown on December 14, 2012 at 12:16 PM

Nothing would stop a woman from seeing a doctor if she had a problem with the medication. Or talking about it when she sees a doctor about another problem.

hepcat on December 14, 2012 at 5:37 PM

I get the point about nanny statism and free choice but this isn’t about choosing a 17oz soda.

hopeful on December 14, 2012 at 4:56 PM

Pithy, and spot on.

Liberty 5-3001 on December 14, 2012 at 5:42 PM

Shrewd move by Jindal! It makes sense to just about everyone except the crazed papists like Paul Ryan. It is true that women with blood clot issues are put at risk with this type of birth control. Maybe some sort of genetic testing to make sure a woman is not pre-disposed to blood clots?

ZippyZ on December 14, 2012 at 6:41 PM

ZOMG… You’re still around; I thought Ed and AP wised up and banned your Axelrod troll butt. The only reason why I could think a paid D troll like you would actually support an R Governor is because you know that Jindal could never win because he lacks charisma and the ability to give a speech. Not to mention the blatant careerism that is going on. As for Ryan, who you seem pretty worried about judging by the fact that he seems to come up lots in your posts, he is the farthest thing from a religious zealot. Santorum is a religious zealot… See difference.

Illinidiva on December 14, 2012 at 7:31 PM

There’s a difference between no longer requiring a prescription for the pill and not giving people information about potential interactions.

Keep it in it’s current place behind the pharmacy counter. Pharmacists are supposed to know drug interactions. When you go to pick it up, the pharmacist can discuss any other medications you’re on and let you know which pill would be the best fit for you.

You no longer have the lost time and money for the doctor’s office (which is a lot of money for those of us that don’t have insurance and pay $300 for the checkup and required labs).

At the very least, they should stop writing 13 refill prescriptions. Once the doctor checks you out and determines that you don’t have any of the health conditions that put you at high risk, they should write a 3-5 year prescription.

JadeNYU on December 14, 2012 at 7:37 PM

This is the exact reason that herbal pills have 8 aisles. People don’t want to go to the doctor when they just need a pill.

Put “THE PILL” over the counter. Or behind the counter and have the woman sign for it.

Heck, I have to sign, give DNA, my IRS forms for 5 yrs just for my allergy pills and NOT see my doctor.

Stop the nonsense and get the pill over the counter. Every 4 months to see the doc for a refill is a waste of time and money.

athenadelphi on December 14, 2012 at 8:03 PM

THIS IS WHAT DOCTORS’ PRESCRIPTIONS ARE FOR, and it’s not “nanny” statism, it’s common sense

Liberty 5-3001 on December 14, 2012 at 4:37 PM

Then guess what statist… YOU can pay to go to the doctor and have him give you a recommendation. Leave the rest of us if feel competent enough to take care of their own selves ALONE! When we have a question we’ll pay the professional.

Socmodfiscon on December 14, 2012 at 9:49 PM

See but nobody is denying you nanny staters the right to go to a doctor for their opinion. Many of us feel comfortable making those choices ourselves. The only drugs I would require prescriptions for are antibiotics as the germ immunities that develop from their overuse affects society as a whole.

Socmodfiscon on December 14, 2012 at 9:53 PM

I’m not a doctor but I slept in a Holiday Inn last night, and I say “No soup for you jindal.” Your transparent pandering has consequences. Good luck with that. maybe we should distribute them free in middle school? Maybe forced injections should do the trick – who needs consent, consent is for thinking people not cattle.

Fuquay Steve on December 14, 2012 at 10:03 PM

I was on BCP for 10 years and had no end of problems with them. Extraordinary heavy periods that literally put me in bed for several days at a time, break through hemorraging mid cycle, edema and weight gain.
I worked closely with a gyn during the years and he/she did the best they could to “fine tune” the medication. Considering that my run with BCP was from 17-27 I can tell you that walking the isles of Walmart trying to figure out what would be a better drug for me or, standing at the pharmacist’s booth asking for advice about these side effects was out of the question.
I needed close cooperation with a Dr. who was trained in administering this very potent medication. And, I didn’t pay $300 for a visit. I went to a clinic that charged on a sliding scale.
For all the men out there claiming that BCP are “no big deal” let’s give you a drug that shuts off your sperm production for 21 days at a time and let’s see what you think of going into Walmart without medical advice and picking something off the shelf that you think will do the trick without any dangerous side effects.
BTW, I wasn’t taking any other medication at the time. My side effects were purely from BCP’s.
I say NO. BCP’s are very potent medication and Docs should prescribe them.

Babs on December 14, 2012 at 10:09 PM

Babs on December 14, 2012 at 10:09 PM

And that is why YOU might choose to seek out a professional for his advice. I, however shouldn’t be forced to see a doctor for a treatment I feel comfortable taking care of myself. See…. choice.

Socmodfiscon on December 14, 2012 at 10:22 PM

@ Blink
No… I am the type of person that knows that the major demographic group that seeks this medication does not have the ability to self medicate without a Dr’s advice. I was once part of that demographic group.
Asking a pharmacist about the type of side effects this very potent medication might cause or is currently causing is rediculous.
All I can say is thank God I didn’t get a blood clot.

I will say this; I do think that several medications that are currently prescription only, like synthroid, should be OTC. I have been on thyroid medication, the same dosage, for over 20 years. It used to be that I would go into the Dr once a year, have my blood level checked and get a 1 yr script. Now I have to go in every 6 months. That is a scam when I have been stable on the med for over 20 years.
Based on my experience with BCP’s I think they are very different medications and I do not think BCP’s should be over the counter. There are too many very serious risks involved with hormonal therapy. That is my opinion based on my experience.
If you were on BCP’s for 10 years and didn’t have a lick of trouble I say great for you! Unfortunately, that is not everyone’s story. They should IMO only be administered by a Dr. The downside is considerable.

Babs on December 14, 2012 at 11:38 PM

I didnt have the time to read all comments. Need to risk eval pt because BCP or estrogen specifically can increase risk of VTE or venous thromboembolism (blood clots). In the leg they are painful, but in the lungs they are deadly

scruplesrx on December 15, 2012 at 12:13 AM

Ohhh, riiigggght, EVERYone’s a doctor now-a-days. Riiiiggght, Mr Jindal.

I understand (and agree with) his position, that no one with objections about birth control should be required to fund them for others (or use them themself), but, lapsing into irrational declarations as Jindal has is not the solution to that (“make birth control publicly available”).

Jindal’s devolving, certainly.

Lourdes on December 15, 2012 at 7:07 AM

Need to risk eval pt because BCP or estrogen specifically can increase risk of VTE or venous thromboembolism (blood clots). In the leg they are painful, but in the lungs they are deadly

scruplesrx on December 15, 2012 at 12:13 AM

Some substances require a physician’s order to obtain and use because they require a physician’s decision about the potential user’s medical condition.

I agree with you but the important point of the medical aspects to birth control — “hormones” — is lost on so many today. It’s now a case only of “give me what I want because I want it”.

Doctors sometimes say “no” for medical reasons but few respect their decision when they do, especially as to people engaged in self-prescribing medications.

Lourdes on December 15, 2012 at 7:10 AM

In my grandparents day, one could walk into a drug store and buy laudanum, and there was not opium addicts laying around everywhere.

booger71 on December 14, 2012 at 1:11 PM

Because, in your grandparents’ day, the population was lower and life expectancy was lower, too. So there WERE “opium addicts laying around” but in the same proportions to their respective population as exists today. Only they ALL perished earlier in life than we do today, so they weren’t as noticeable. In fact, all physical and mental ailments weren’t as publicly noticeable in your “grandparents’ day” because people just didn’t live nearly as long as we do today as also among their lower population numbers (less crowding, less people everywhere).

Opiates are regulated today because more people began and continued to abuse them — more people, more people abusing them, presto, regulations.

Lourdes on December 15, 2012 at 7:16 AM

Wait. It’s already OTC, available from your local Planned Parenthood, no ??
It’s heavily documented that they issue the lowest dose of protection, sending the women out the door believing they now will NOT get pregnant, only to find out the dosage wasn’t efficient enough, and PP smiles, knowing that their malfeasance resulted in one more abortion. (research it yourselves).

This is one of the most irresponsible suggestions I can think of.
Condoms are free or available @ minimal cost, do not mess with a woman’s hormonal system, etc etc.
Silly.

pambi on December 15, 2012 at 9:14 AM

Butbut but…if they are readily available over-the-counter then voters won’t think they are beholden to the folks that pretend they are making them available despite “evil” Republicans!

MarkT on December 15, 2012 at 10:23 AM

Condoms are free or available @ minimal cost, do not mess with a woman’s hormonal system, etc etc.
Silly.

pambi on December 15, 2012 at 9:14 AM

Womens are not strong enough to insist on condoms. Silly.

/

CW on December 15, 2012 at 10:31 AM

In my grandparents day, one could walk into a drug store and buy laudanum, and there was not opium addicts laying around everywhere.

booger71 on December 14, 2012 at 1:11 PM

In your grandparents’ day, drug users weren’t kept alive at public expense, and if they tried anything they were likely to be shot.

There also weren’t nearly as many in proportion to everyone else because society had working moral values back then.

MelonCollie on December 16, 2012 at 9:36 AM

Many good thoughtful posts here.
My 2 cents: some things do need to be controlled, regarding access to the general public.
Things like nuclear war heads, dangerous habit forming drugs, drugs that could kill you in small doses, etc.
You cannot have everything OTC.
But as several here have already said, much of what is controlled is not controlled for safety reasons.
Excessive regulation is a problem in the drug industry.
We also need TORT reform.
Why do you think there are , what, only 2 or 3 companies in the WORLD who’ll make vaccines?
No profit & too much liability.
The Federal Govt has a role in our lives. But it’s become too much & we need to thin it down.
You cannot have everything OTC, like antibiotics as stated earlier bcs their misuse even by health professionals has put the whole population of Earth’s humans at risk.
Some stuff needs to be regulated.
However, it’s silly to regulate some things where the risk factor is low for most of the population.
This is where regulation should start & end. IT needs to be based upon real risk factors.
If it is for minor parts of the population, but the benefits outweigh the risks, then OTC it is.
But with the sue happy culture we still have, I wouldn’t blame drug companies for requiring on their own something needing a prescription.

Badger40 on December 16, 2012 at 10:18 AM

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