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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Right on. Why is this a prescription medication anyway? There are a ton of medications that should be made OTC…I never understood why so many completely benign medications are prescription only. The more is made OTC the better.

This is a good start.

alecj on December 14, 2012 at 12:04 PM

Works for me. Fifty cent insurance policies have been in front of the counter since they were fifty cents.

cozmo on December 14, 2012 at 12:04 PM

alecj on December 14, 2012 at 12:04 PM

Is there such a thing as a benign medication?

cozmo on December 14, 2012 at 12:05 PM

Right on. Why is this a prescription medication anyway? There are a ton of medications that should be made OTC…I never understood why so many completely benign medications are prescription only. The more is made OTC the better.

This is a good start.

alecj on December 14, 2012 at 12:04 PM

It’s rooted in anti-competition and control.

All drugs should be over-the-counter.

Dante on December 14, 2012 at 12:05 PM

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.

And that’s why I’m okay with this. Entirely too much in general requires prescription only access. FFS, I need to hand a doctor $100 every year just to get permission to buy more contact lenses.

Now there are arguments about birth control being a steroid that should be restricted, but this should open up the broader question of what are we keeping behind a prescription wall that should just be a simple trip to the drugstore.

Gingotts on December 14, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Stupid.

Not the idea that it should be easy to obtain, the idea that you shouldn’t need a doctor’s note for it.

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

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

Why would you ask a doctor instead of the pharmacist?

Dante on December 14, 2012 at 12:09 PM

Not that he needs Louisiana’s electoral votes and he doesn’t have to worry about re-election as governor, but that isn’t going to sit well back home – except perhaps in New Orleans.

Jindal would make for a good Cabinet post or even Veep, but I’ve never pictured him as Presidential, no matter how cogent some of his arguments are. Jindal was always a climber though. He headed up the UL system (Louisiana’s second largest collegiate system) when he was in his late twenties. He was Louisiana secretary over Health and Hospitals when he was in his mid twenties. He’s not done by far even if Louisiana never votes for him again.

Logus on December 14, 2012 at 12:10 PM

So refreshing to see a Republican turn the tables on Democratic demagoguery.

We seriously need more people like Jindal in the GOP.

ButterflyDragon on December 14, 2012 at 12:10 PM

And no drug should need FDA approval, right Dante?

blink on December 14, 2012 at 12:08 PM

Correct. The FDA is unconstituional and should be eliminated, for starters. Still, it’s not the government’s business.

Look at the admitted Keynesian favoring and arguing for big government, and arguing against the free market.

Dante on December 14, 2012 at 12:11 PM

Agreed. Less regulations, more freedom.

MoreLiberty on December 14, 2012 at 12:12 PM

All drugs should be over-the-counter.

Dante on December 14, 2012 at 12:05 PM

Here we go again…

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cozmo on December 14, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Sounds reasonable to me.
Then the Flukester wouldn’t need $1000 a year from the gubmint to pay for her sex life.

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

My wife has had the same problems with numerous drugs – many of them OTC. And the doctors almost always insist “oh no, that drug doesn’t do that, its all in your head, just keep taking it”.
People need to figure out for themselves what drugs do or don’t work for them (to some degree), and I think the pill has been around long enough to be able to go OTC.
In our view, the doctors these days just prescribe whatever drug gives them the biggest kickback.

dentarthurdent on December 14, 2012 at 12:13 PM

This is a fantastic idea, an outside-the-box compromise that completely diffuses the issue. I was wondering where Jindal had hidden his rational policy sense lately…

ernesto on December 14, 2012 at 12:13 PM

As a Pro-Life conservative, I also agree with Jindal. Well said.

Raquel Pinkbullet on December 14, 2012 at 12:13 PM

As a gyn I’m putting more and more IUDs in teens. Sometimes as young as twelve.
Go ahead and make birth control pills OTC. Make them free. The majority of women who would benefit from them still would not take them. Studies out of St Louis show this, thousands were offered free this or free that and most wanted —– guess. I already told you.

Marcus on December 14, 2012 at 12:14 PM

I wish Governor Jindal well with the politics within his party.

Mr. Arrogant on December 14, 2012 at 12:15 PM

The Dem line of attack against this will be that it will raise the cost of birth control for women because OTC drugs aren’t covered by insurance.

Mark1971 on December 14, 2012 at 12:15 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

This is what we need from conservative leaders. Take these silly issues away from the Ds. We have all sorts of OTC drugs that meth is make from, so this is a no-brainer.

mwbri on December 14, 2012 at 12:16 PM

cozmo on December 14, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Hey now… did you copy that from me lol? Not that I mind… but good to see people use it from time to time.

watertown on December 14, 2012 at 12:17 PM

My only concern with this idea is that some women shouldn’t take it (I had a blood clot when I was first married), and people tend to think that if it’s OTC, it’s perfectly safe. Other than that, by all means, make it cheap, make it easy to get.

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,

True, but for married folk who do not want to get pregnant, it’s a blessing to have it available. Years ago I worked in surgery at a Catholic hospital and remarked to the staff that it seemed like a lot of fairly young women (30s and 40s) were getting hysterectomies for the barest of reasons. The nurses laughed and told me that it was Catholic women who didn’t want any more pregnancies, couldn’t trust NFP, were desperate to not get pregnant again, but felt guilty using birth control. So they went to Catholic OBs and came up with “medical” reasons for a hysterectomy. Problem solved. My own mother was one of them, when the thought of another pregnancy filled her with terror (after losing two and almost losing one more). I do agree it’s sure made promiscuity much easier, however.

Bob's Kid on December 14, 2012 at 12:17 PM

I bet BCPs would be down to five bucks if they went over the counter.

mwbri on December 14, 2012 at 12:18 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

And there’s the typical leftist argument for government and regulations: we have to save people from themselves; people are too dumb to make their own decisions, or to make the right ones.

Dante on December 14, 2012 at 12:18 PM

This is what we need from conservative leaders. Take these silly issues away from the Ds. We have all sorts of OTC drugs that meth is make from, so this is a no-brainer.

mwbri on December 14, 2012 at 12:16 PM

Yeah and it just great that I have to show ID to buy lighter fluid. If I buy certain medications, I even have to have my name put in a database to make sure I am not buying too much.

watertown on December 14, 2012 at 12:18 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

Birth control pills are not like aspirin. There are different kinds and the side effects vary depending on the person. I don’t think it is as straightforward as Jindal assumes. A better solution may be to consult a doctor for the initial prescription, and maybe 1 follow up to that.

Once it is established the drug is working without major side effects then the user could buy it freely without constant doctor visits. Birth control drugs are not really expensive, so that part of Jindal’s argument is BS from the get. I am not sure why he believes this is a winner for Republicans but whatever.

echosyst on December 14, 2012 at 12:18 PM

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,

Another perfect example of where conservatives love themselves some big powerful government.

MoreLiberty on December 14, 2012 at 12:20 PM

Correct. The FDA is unconstituional and should be eliminated, for starters. Still, it’s not the government’s business.

Dante on December 14, 2012 at 12:11 PM

Everything in the world of Dante is unconstitutional.

JPeterman on December 14, 2012 at 12:20 PM

And there’s the typical leftist argument for government and regulations: we have to save people from themselves; people are too dumb to make their own decisions, or to make the right ones.

Dante on December 14, 2012 at 12:18 PM

The problem comes in with the liability of such drugs. You think my blood pressure medication should be over the counter? Can do as much damage to me as BC can do.

And yes, people for the most part are stupid.

watertown on December 14, 2012 at 12:20 PM

Just a note to Jindal and the rest who believes this would “end the argument over contraception”. It won’t. Democrats will just make up another issue and the press will gladly make a big deal of it. Jindal is trying to sing from the liberal songbook, which is how they like it. At a certain point if Conservatives can’t learn to counter these made up issues from the left we are doomed, which we are anyway.

echosyst on December 14, 2012 at 12:21 PM

You’ll have to forgive “Dante” he’s still of the blown mindset that if it’s found on the floor of the rehab center it can’t possibly hurt you.

viking01 on December 14, 2012 at 12:21 PM

paging Sandra Fluke…..

nazo311 on December 14, 2012 at 12:21 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

CORRECT!!! And THIS is why I’ve now just dropped Jindal off of my 2016 short-list.

{FACEPALM}

TrubadorMike on December 14, 2012 at 12:22 PM

Almost everything should be over the counter. I’m tired of having to see a doctor just to get a little antibiotic that I need.

Axion on December 14, 2012 at 12:22 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

I would argue that’s exactly why doctors are NOT needed in many cases. I’m not agreeing with dante by any means regarding the FDA or the need for prescriptions, but with my wife the doctors often refuse to listen when she says the drug they prescribed is causing problems. I really think they prescribe certain drugs based on their biggest kickback, and when my wife has a bad reaction, they insist it’s not really happening and it’s not the drug causing it – but when she stops taking the drug, the problem goes away.
If you’re sick, see a doctor.
But birth control has been a round long enough that people can figure out for themselves which one to use – and change it if they don’t like the results.

dentarthurdent on December 14, 2012 at 12:23 PM

This is a fantastic idea, an outside-the-box compromise that completely diffuses the issue. I was wondering where Jindal had hidden his rational policy sense lately…

ernesto on December 14, 2012 at 12:13 PM

….pssssst!…(look in your anal opening)!

KOOLAID2 on December 14, 2012 at 12:23 PM

echosyst on December 14, 2012 at 12:18 PM

That is something I can get behind. A checkup after the first month or 2, then go every 4, and then stretch it out more and more where your to the point of maybe once a year or whatever.

watertown on December 14, 2012 at 12:23 PM

The problem comes in with the liability of such drugs. You think my blood pressure medication should be over the counter? Can do as much damage to me as BC can do.

And yes, people for the most part are stupid.

watertown on December 14, 2012 at 12:20 PM

What problem? You feel you have an issue, get a lawyer and file a civil suit.

Dante on December 14, 2012 at 12:24 PM

The purpose of regulations and restrictions is not only public protection, but to ensure the availability of useful but dangerous materials and products by limiting the opportunities for misuse.

The $64,000 question here is, “As a category of drugs, are ____ so dangerous that the harm from over-the-counter use would lead to lawsuits that could cause manufacturers to remove the product from the shelves altogether?”

For opiates, the answer is yes. Limiting availability through prescription and heavy regulation ensure that the majority of misusers of opiates have had to subvert or go outside legal processes to do so—thus exonerating the manufacturer from liability.

For birth control pills, the answer seems to be no.

Sekhmet on December 14, 2012 at 12:25 PM

dentarthurdent on December 14, 2012 at 12:23 PM

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

Dante on December 14, 2012 at 12:27 PM

dentarthurdent on December 14, 2012 at 12:23 PM

Yeah the pill is just like taking aspirin you know… just pop a pill and your set. Sometimes it takes a few months for it to really start working, or even some side affects to kick in.

Look, for you and those that are more than willing to take the doctor out of the loop… fine, under one condition:

If found that you messed yourself up or died from some ill fated side affect, you CAN NOT go after the drug makers, or any party responsible in providing the drug. You want to play Russian roulette with your health so be it, but suffer any bad outcomes that could come your way and live with it.

watertown on December 14, 2012 at 12:28 PM

At first, I was also thinking that there are some medical reasons why the pill should he prescribed (blood clots, reactions, etc) but isn’t this true of all medication? If a woman isn’t sure what is right for her, she has the option to visit her doctor for guidance. There is no way to know your reactionto the pill until you take it, though. A woman can also choose to visit her doctor if she doesn’t feel she has chosen the correct one, also. For someone like me, I know what works, but am forced to.visit my doc at least once a year to pre- up my script. To me it is a personal responsibility argument. If I’m not confident in making my own purchase I can CHOOSE to see my doctor just like with allergy meds and every other Med.

ConArtist in Tampa on December 14, 2012 at 12:28 PM

My main annoyance with this is the blatant political pandering that is going on here. Shock against shock Jindal came up with this after the 2012 election when it has been going on for a few years. Apparently his strategy for 2016 is to release one new blatantly obvious political pander each week for the next four years. Geez.. never got the appeal of Jindal, especially considering that he has absolutely no charisma. And that was before the whole slimeball move of snuggling up to Romney before the election and then throwing him under the bus after. If the 47% comment was so offensive to Jindal, then he should have mentioned it in September.

Illinidiva on December 14, 2012 at 12:29 PM

Hey now… did you copy that from me lol? Not that I mind… but good to see people use it from time to time.

watertown on December 14, 2012 at 12:17 PM

Could be. They were being shared on QOTD one night.

It is the best thing around to describe dante.

Thanks for making it available.

cozmo on December 14, 2012 at 12:29 PM

Axion on December 14, 2012 at 12:22 PM

Hey you ever think that over taking Antibiotics is bad? Viruses and bacteria are very adaptive… and then become immune to it. Why do you think there is a huge push NOT to prescribe antibiotics unless really needed? In case you dont know… because the strains are becoming more resistant to the treatments and then you need more powerful antibiotics…to the point where nothing works anymore.

watertown on December 14, 2012 at 12:31 PM

You really think most Americans are smart enough to figure stuff out like this?

This is the precise argument that big government liberals, and in this case Republicans, use to increase the power and size of government.

“You think most Americans are smart enough…” – Boom – Social Security

“You think most Americans are smart enough…” – Boom – Obamacare

MoreLiberty on December 14, 2012 at 12:31 PM

Look, for you and those that are more than willing to take the doctor out of the loop… fine, under one condition:

If found that you messed yourself up or died from some ill fated side affect, you CAN NOT go after the drug makers, or any party responsible in providing the drug. You want to play Russian roulette with your health so be it, but suffer any bad outcomes that could come your way and live with it.

watertown on December 14, 2012 at 12:28 PM

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

Dante on December 14, 2012 at 12:31 PM

Almost everything should be over the counter. I’m tired of having to see a doctor just to get a little antibiotic that I need.

Axion on December 14, 2012 at 12:22 PM

Antibiotics (literally “against life”) taken internally are some of the greatest risk drugs used, er, recreationally.

Make those available on a have-at-’em basis and the parking lot could look like a Civil War battlefield.

Penicillin? Sorry, ’bout that fatal reaction… maybe americillin should have been selected from the other shelf instead. Chloramphenicol… well, that hearing loss, you can get used to it but that aplastic anemia may hurt a bit until you croak in a week.

Oh, and here’s your super discount do it yourself gall bladder kit. Be careful… it’s sharp.

viking01 on December 14, 2012 at 12:31 PM

Anyone that disagrees with his anarchist vision of the world is a big government nanny stater.

blink on December 14, 2012 at 12:30 PM

Most people who disagree with dante have more than two brain cells to rub together.

cozmo on December 14, 2012 at 12:32 PM

thoughts from the Headlines thread:

I don’t know what to make of this. At first I was disappointed Jindal is playing ‘small ball’ politics. Then I realized that after all, health care is his background and bailiwick. Then I wonder how this squares with his Catholicism.

What will be the liability to companies who sell this OTC? What does the FDA think? Aren’t those important points? It sounds like Jindal is trying to fix a political problem with a medical decision.

Paul-Cincy on December 14, 2012 at 9:58 AM

Paul-Cincy on December 14, 2012 at 12:34 PM

Q: Why didn’t Mitt think of this 2 months ago?

A: He’s not a good politician

faraway on December 14, 2012 at 12:37 PM

All drugs should be over-the-counter.

Dante on December 14, 2012 at 12:05 PM

Maybe then you could get back on your lithium and Thorazine.

The Rogue Tomato on December 14, 2012 at 12:37 PM

He is uncaring…women are more than a transaction over a cash register.

Major fail on his part.

You shouldn’t make such definitive statements…you have to know how to finesse things in today’s environment.

tomas on December 14, 2012 at 12:38 PM

Hormone levels have to be titrated to body chemistry. One can’t take whatever # of milligrams of estrogen and progesterone one wants without serious risk of side effects that negate whatever benefits the pill might provide. Usually the lowest dose is the safest, but not necessarily the most effective. Couple of things to consider.

totherightofthem on December 14, 2012 at 12:38 PM

“….a way to defuse an incredibly dishonest political line of attack.”

Despite my having a disgust level with prominent Republicans very close to that of the Governor Palin supporters, I am glad that you gave him the excuse above.

However, I can testify to the fact that prescription meds are dangerous. So are the crowdsourcing investments in the other thread.

All the pills will do is sicken or kill people. The crowdsourcing messes with our investment money.

Priorities.

IlikedAUH2O on December 14, 2012 at 12:38 PM

As long as there are Senate hopefuls who declare rape as part of God’s will, there is no hope for Republicans on this issue.

John the Libertarian on December 14, 2012 at 12:38 PM

I have a very close friend who was hospitalized for 5 days with blood clots caused by her contraception. It’s been a slow comeback for her.

These contraceptions are nothing to play with and should be used under a doctors supervision.

portlandon on December 14, 2012 at 12:39 PM

So is O-x-y-c-o-n-t-i-n is a banned word here?

Ward Cleaver on December 14, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Yeah the pill is just like taking aspirin you know… just pop a pill and your set. Sometimes it takes a few months for it to really start working, or even some side affects to kick in.

Look, for you and those that are more than willing to take the doctor out of the loop… fine, under one condition:

If found that you messed yourself up or died from some ill fated side affect, you CAN NOT go after the drug makers, or any party responsible in providing the drug. You want to play Russian roulette with your health so be it, but suffer any bad outcomes that could come your way and live with it.

watertown on December 14, 2012 at 12:28 PM

Does that level of non-liability exist today for any other OTC drugs? No, it doesn’t.

I’ve got news for you – there are lots of OTC drugs already out there that can cause problems for people. And getting prescriptions for drugs doesn’t prevent problems from occuring either. When my doctor first prescribed a diuretic for blood pressure, the stuff dam near immobilized me with kidney pain. The doctor’s initial reaction was “no that can’t be, that drug doesn’t do that”. I stopped taking it, and the pain went away – and I forced the doc to try something else – which has worked fine now for several years – but they insist on a prescription renewal every 6 months and a physical every year or they won’t renew the prescription – and some of that is government intervention and restrictions that shouldn’t exist.

But the doctors have been totally incompetent for over 12 years with a problem my wife has. She has been given enough prescriptions, at a very high cost, to fill 2 grocery bags – and EVERY ONE of them either did not solve the problem or had unacceptable side-effects.

I just don’t believe doctor’s prescriptions and the related government regulations are necessary for everything – and in this specific case, not for the pill.

dentarthurdent on December 14, 2012 at 12:40 PM

Best way to defuse the situation: let’s just ban birth control. Then there’s no more controversy.

joe_doufu on December 14, 2012 at 12:40 PM

The fact that it won’t diffuse the anti-Republican demagoguery is no reason not to do it. Heck, Republicans don’t even get credit for ending slavery, so I don’t expect any gratitude for this. The biggest positive will the the entertainment value as Democrats trip over each other trying to get out in front of the issue. I remember when Ibuprofen was only available through prescription and I never did understand why oral contraceptives weren’t already OTC. Acetaminophen is probably more dangerous.

Socratease on December 14, 2012 at 12:41 PM

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

Dante on December 14, 2012 at 12:27 PM

Pharmacists can’t prescribe drugs – they only fill out the prescription.

dentarthurdent on December 14, 2012 at 12:41 PM

You can buy birth control over the counter now.

What is the problem here?

portlandon on December 14, 2012 at 12:42 PM

I guess if you make it over the counter, most medical insurance and flex plans won’t pay for it. Takes that argument out of the issue. No more “free” birth control.

crosspatch on December 14, 2012 at 12:42 PM

All drugs should be over-the-counter.

Dante on December 14, 2012 at 12:05 PM

Great idea. I can see it now:

“O-x-y-c-o-n-t-i-n, now available without a prescription!”

What could go wrong?

Ward Cleaver on December 14, 2012 at 12:43 PM

All medications should be OTC.

hatecraft on December 14, 2012 at 12:44 PM

I guess if you make it over the counter, most medical insurance and flex plans won’t pay for it. Takes that argument out of the issue. No more “free” birth control.

crosspatch on December 14, 2012 at 12:42 PM

Sad Sandra Fluke is sad.

Ward Cleaver on December 14, 2012 at 12:44 PM

My problem with Jindal is it appears he’s going populist they way Bill O’Reilly does to maximize Nielsen ratings ….

I’m reminded of an article many years ago about the 1960s do-it-yourself craze where one fellow was exploring how to save big money by making his own granola. He was asked how well it was going and how much he had saved and he beamed happily that he’d gotten the cost down to only about ten dollars a box.

At least that guy was experimenting with brown sugar and rolled oats instead of… say… digitalis or the exciting new Mattel Meth Lab.

viking01 on December 14, 2012 at 12:45 PM

I’d be worried if it was offered over the counter without a doctor’s prescription, but this is because there are many instances where another prescription medication can interact negatively with different kinds of birth control. I take daily epilepsy medication, and there are several kinds of hormonal birth control I can’t take because those particular BC’s can reduce the effectiveness of my epilepsy meds (and thus potentially lead to a seizure), and there are other drug combinations which do the exact opposite, wherein the epilepsy meds reduce the effectiveness of the birth control.

It’s not like OTC pain killers, where the only warnings needed are about drinking too much alcohol and extremely rare risks for stomach bleeding. These potential negative interactions are far too numerous to list on an OTC box!

I doubt any of the ~70% male population on HA will give a hoot about my post, but I wanted to have it out there anyway for the other ~30% like me ;-)

Liberty 5-3001 on December 14, 2012 at 12:48 PM

As long as there are Senate hopefuls who declare rape as part of God’s will, there is no hope for Republicans on this issue.

John the Libertarian on December 14, 2012 at 12:38 PM

I have, in my safe, unquestionable proof that the men who made those remarks were in the pay of the DNC. Their control was some very strange looking woman who had an email account in the initials DWS. Someone else involved was named Rice, like the famed 49er wide receiver.

They better have perfect credibility because, if we find them, it is the word of several investigators and religious leaders against their’s. Newt will do the cross examination and handle the PR.

You don’t think an educated, sane senate candidate would say fool things like that without a bribe do you? Like a presidential candidate would have tax dodging accounts when he knew they would ask for his tax returns.

Think the Republican party is a bunch of nitwits?

IlikedAUH2O on December 14, 2012 at 12:50 PM

So is O-x-y-c-o-n-t-i-n is a banned word here?

Ward Cleaver on December 14, 2012 at 12:39 PM

That is truly pathetic.

Dante on December 14, 2012 at 12:51 PM

That is truly pathetic.

Dante on December 14, 2012 at 12:51 PM

I go back to your original post:

It’s rooted in anti-competition and control.

All drugs should be over-the-counter.

Dante on December 14, 2012 at 12:05 PM

So do you still stand by that?

Ward Cleaver on December 14, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Pharmacists can’t prescribe drugs – they only fill out the prescription.

dentarthurdent on December 14, 2012 at 12:41 PM

I didn’t say that they can, but their knowledge base is drugs, their side effects, and how drugs can counter other medication taken with harmful results. I always ask a pharmacist about any prescription my doctor gives me.

Dante on December 14, 2012 at 12:53 PM

So do you still stand by that?

Ward Cleaver on December 14, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Yes, of course I do. “That is truly pathetic” was referring to o.xy.contin being filtered. The reason, of course, is obvious … and awfullly childish.

Dante on December 14, 2012 at 12:54 PM

What could go wrong?

Ward Cleaver on December 14, 2012 at 12:43 PM

You’ve got to understand that Dante is the type of troll who thinks that there shouldn’t be any government at all. We should all just do whatever the hell we want without regard to societal concerns. He is one of those stupid lazy moochers who are going to be celebrating on January 21st because the nation is headed just where these mental midgets want it to go.

Happy Nomad on December 14, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Yes, of course I do. “That is truly pathetic” was referring to o.xy.contin being filtered. The reason, of course, is obvious … and awfullly childish.

Dante on December 14, 2012 at 12:54 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

Are you somehow claiming that all clinicians test for penicillin allergies (or confirm that a patient has been safely exposed to penicillin in the past) prior to prescribing them?

blink on December 14, 2012 at 12:35 PM

You make too many sweeping assumptions about too many things. All this. All that. Argument solely for argument’s sake.

Very tiresome to read where my first reaction towards replying to you now has become: “Why bother?”

A doctor can readily review patient history and family history. If there is doubt they can do a reaction (skin) test. If penicillin isn’t deemed essential there are other choices where judgment of the physician can consider the spectrum of choices to suit the diagnosis. Then there are cases such as snakebite where it may be considered that the patient will have a severe reaction to the horse serum involved yet the alternative is the patient not surviving. Then the reaction is managed alongside the snakebite.

viking01 on December 14, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Yeah the pill is just like taking aspirin you know… just pop a pill and your set.
watertown on December 14, 2012 at 12:28 PM

BTW – did you know taking too much OTC aspirin can kill you also?
Did you know mixing too much alcohol (legal OTC) and OTC aspirin can kill you?
Lots of OTC drugs can have cause bad reactions if mixed with the wrong stuff.
I’m not an anarchist like dante – but this is basically about what level of government control is really necessary – which drugs can and can’t be taken with a reasonable level of risk traded off for maximum benefit.

There are and always will be stupid people out there. I say let Darwin do his job. The rest of us don’t need overbearing government regulations just to ensure the stupid people are protected and kept in the gene pool.

dentarthurdent on December 14, 2012 at 12:57 PM

Crap, I hit strike instead or quote. Is it really Friday?

Ward Cleaver on December 14, 2012 at 12:57 PM

Yeah, let’s make the lawyers rich by selling all medications over the counter without a prescription.

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

Liberty 5-3001 on December 14, 2012 at 12:48 PM

You’ve hit on my sole objection to Bobby Jindal’s comments. This isn’t like buying asprin- there can be interactions with other drugs. Then what? Somebody buys OTC birth control pills, has an adverse reaction, and sues the drug company. End result, you either end up with certain products being pulled from the market or a phonebook sized warning statement.

Happy Nomad on December 14, 2012 at 1:01 PM

Contraception is so 2012.

Republicans get with it! Please offer a government solution to the problem we women really face, that of crappy, ill-fitting bras. 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 to keep costs down but at the same times offers a superior, more effective product. And don’t bother with electing an all-powerful decision making panel. Just appoint them.

This is my right. Duh.

So please, prioritize your pandering to a point that it is at least innovative.

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

LetsBfrank on December 14, 2012 at 1:02 PM

I didn’t say that they can, but their knowledge base is drugs, their side effects, and how drugs can counter other medication taken with harmful results. I always ask a pharmacist about any prescription my doctor gives me.

Dante on December 14, 2012 at 12:53 PM

We do that. But my original point was more about how the doctors try to deny that the drugs they prescribe actually cause the side-effects that occur – even when my wife says “its ddoing this” and she has confirmation from the pharmacist that the drug can in fact cause it.
Like I said before, I think with a lot of doctors, its all about the kickbacks on what they prescribe.
And they do get kickbacks – my sister worked for a software company that makes a program specifically for doctors, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and pharmacies to track the kickback cycle – which includes the government (FDA, Medicare, Medicaid, etc).

dentarthurdent on December 14, 2012 at 1:02 PM

Yeah, let’s make the lawyers rich by selling all medications over the counter without a prescription.

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

Thank you, Janny, I said the same earlier in the thread. Sometimes the reasons to oppose something aren’t political, it’s just commonsense about medicine this time. And who wants to give medical malpractice lawyers more work!?

Liberty 5-3001 on December 14, 2012 at 1:03 PM

Another reason I wouldn’t vote for Jindal.

JannyMae on December 14, 2012 at 12:57 PM

I like Bobby. He was my Congressman and I’ve voted for him several times in the past. But I’m not sure I would support him if he runs for President. This seems like pre-emptive pandering to the lazy stupid women whose world revolves around abortion and contraception. We need a principled and unaplogetic conservative not somebody who starts pandering to stupid women four years in advance of the next election.

Happy Nomad on December 14, 2012 at 1:05 PM

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