FDA advisors back making Opill birth control available over the counter

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NBC) – Birth control pills could be available to purchase without a prescription by this summer.

Wednesday, advisory panels to the Food and Drug Administration voted unanimously to recommend making the “Opill” available over the counter.

The 17-0 vote by the two panels comes despite serious reservations from agency officials about the quality of the data used to support the switch.

However, the agency did not have concerns about the safety and effectiveness of the drug.

While the FDA is not required to follow the recommendation of the committees, the vote is expected to weigh heavily on whether it allows the sale of the pill.

A final decision is not expected until late summer.

If approved, Opill from French drugmaker HRA Pharma, would be the first birth control pill available for over-the-counter sales in the United States.

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