Yesterday, officials from the White House Gender Policy Council and the Department of Health and Human Services participated in Accessible Consumer Choices: Shaping the Future of Contraceptive Care at Pharmacies, a summit hosted by the American Pharmacists Association and the Contraception Access Initiative, on efforts to support the role of pharmacies and pharmacists in promoting access to contraception.

At the summit, participants—including representatives from the patient advocacy and pharmacy communities—discussed barriers that limit access to contraception at the pharmacy counter, as well as the importance of pharmacies and pharmacists in providing women with expanded contraception options. Participants also highlighted opportunities for federal and state officials as well as the private sector to improve access at pharmacies—which will be especially critical as Opill, the first daily oral contraceptive approved by the Food and Drug Administration for over-the-counter use, becomes available later this year.

The Biden-Harris Administration Commitment to Strengthening Access to Contraception

The Administration’s participation in yesterday’s summit builds on its ongoing efforts to strengthen access to high-quality, affordable birth control—an essential component of reproductive health care that has only become more important in the wake of the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

To support access to affordable, high-quality contraception, President Biden issued an Executive Order directing agencies to consider actions to improve access and affordability for women with private health insurance; bolster access across federally supported health care programs; promote access to over-the-counter contraception; and further support access for Service members, veterans, federal employees, and college students. Since then, federal officials have taken several actions to support expanded access to contraception, including by issuing new guidance to clarify standards under the Affordable Care Act and a Request for Information on how to best ensure coverage and access to over-the-counter preventive services, including contraception, at no cost and without a prescription from a health care provider.

In addition, the White House and agency partners have convened pharmacies and other private sector actors to identify opportunities to expand access to affordable over-the-counter contraception in particular. Last fall, the Gender Policy Council, Domestic Policy Council, and senior leaders from the Departments of the Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services convened private sector leaders to stress the need to continue to build on the significant progress already made under the Affordable Care Act in expanding access to contraception and call on participants to take robust additional actions to improve access.

The Biden-Harris Administration will continue to strengthen access to affordable, high-quality contraception, including at pharmacies, and to work across sectors to promote access.

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