Opill, the first over-the-counter birth control, will be available in stores soon

A recommended retail price for a one-month supply is $19.99

By Nicole Karlis

Senior Writer

Published March 4, 2024 4:44PM (EST)

Birth control packs, close-up (Getty Images/Catherine McQueen)
Birth control packs, close-up (Getty Images/Catherine McQueen)

For the first time in U.S. history, an oral contraceptive pill will be available to purchase over-the-counter, without a prescription. In July 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved an over-the-counter birth control pill. However, many questions remained unanswered — such as how much it would cost, and when it would be available. 

On Monday, the manufacturer announced it will be available in two weeks with a three-month supply costing $49.99, or a recommended retail price of $19.99 for a one-month supply. However, retailers can set their own prices, which may vary across stores and locations.

“At a time when reproductive health and rights are under attack, it is critical that everyone has the ability to access a birth control pill without barriers such as cost, prescriptions, insurance coverage and medical appointments,” Dr. Raegan McDonald-Mosley, the CEO of Power to Decide, a non-profit reproductive advocacy group, said in a statement. “Heading to your local convenience or retail store for OTC birth control and not having to wait weeks or even months for a medical appointment is a game changer.”

Opill was first FDA-approved in 1973 as a progestin-only medication, which refers to the class of drugs it falls under. Opill works by thinning the lining of the uterus, which can prevent sperm from reaching an egg by thickening mucus in the cervix. If taken correctly, it’s 98 percent effective at preventing pregnancy and can start working 48 hours after taking the first dose. Major retailers will sell Opill, such as CVS and Walgreens.


MORE FROM Nicole Karlis