Sales of OTC female contraceptives ought to be significant in the coming year. Already, the category is up 2.3% to $232.7 million, and that number is expected to go up now that the Food and Drug Administration has approved Teva Women’s Health’s Plan B One-Step (levonorgestrel) without a prescription. This ends mandated placement behind the pharmacy counter, as well as the restriction not to sell the product to a woman younger than 16 years old without a prescription.
(For the full category review, including sales data, click here.)
“The availability of Plan B One-Step in the aisles of retailers nationwide ensures improved access to a product that has been clinically evaluated and is a safe and effective backup birth control method for women of all reproductive ages,” stated Martin Berndt, VP and GM of U.S. Brand Pharmaceuticals for Teva Women’s Health.
Plan B One-Step will be the only emergency contraceptive that actually can be sold in the OTC aisles, however. The FDA this summer granted Teva Women’s Health exclusive marketing rights for three years. Approval of the generic version will not allow the manufacturer to sell the drug to anyone younger than 17 until the three-year exclusivity period ends.