The most common side effect is unscheduled bleeding during the cycle, which is heavier than spotting and rarely follows any patterns, Dr. Heyrana said, “which can be quite annoying for people.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that combined oral contraceptives are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and blood clots. In contrast, according to the CDC, the mini pill is not associated with many significant long-term risks.
research suggested that taking a progestin pill, such as Opill, could exacerbate severe liver disease or breast cancer, so people who had those conditions should avoid it.
How much will it cost?
Perrigo has not yet disclosed the sticker price, but affordability will be one of the top concerns for consumers going forward, said Dana Singiser, co-founder of the Contraceptive Access Initiative, a nonprofit organization that advocates for expanded access to contraceptives.
“Clearly it’s a huge priority for the reproductive health community to make sure that the shelf price is really affordable for the consumers who tend to have less access to health care,” Ms. Singiser said.
The Affordable Care Act currently mandates that insurance companies fully cover prescription contraceptives, and, Ms. Singiser said, reproductive rights advocates hope that will extend to Opill, even if it is purchased over the counter. In June, President Biden signed executive order directing the Secretaries of the Treasury, Labor and Health and Human Services to take steps to ensure that private health insurance “covers all contraceptives approved, dispensed or approved by the Food and Drug Administration without cost sharing.” Now, it’s up to those agencies to include Opill, Ms. Singiser said, but it’s hard to determine how long that will take.
Those who do have insurance and access to a pharmacy or doctor can still get a prescription for a mini-pill to avoid any out-of-pocket costs, Ms. Singiser said.
How soon will Opill be available?
The pill will be on store shelves and available online in early 2024, the company said.
At that point, Ms. Singiser said, you could “go to the family planning aisle at CVS or Walgreens or Rite Aid and — right next to the condoms and the emergency contraception — there should be a pack of Opill.”