OCs OTC Working Group

Oral contraceptives (the pill) are one of the safest and best-studied medications on the market today, and they are also one of the most popular and effective birth control methods available worldwide. Yet in a number of countries, including the United States, women need a prescription in order to obtain them—and this can be a barrier for some women, particularly those without easy access to a doctor.

The Oral Contraceptives (OCs) Over-the-Counter (OTC) Working Group is a coalition of reproductive health, rights, and justice organizations, nonprofit research and advocacy groups, university-based researchers, and prominent clinicians who share a commitment to providing all women of reproductive age easier access to safe, effective, acceptable, and affordable contraceptives.  The working group was established in 2004 to explore the potential of over-the-counter access to oral contraceptives to reduce disparities in reproductive health care access and outcomes, and to increase opportunities for women to access a safe, effective method of contraception, free of unnecessary control, as part of a healthy sexual and reproductive life.