Contraceptive Makers Get an Incentive to Lower Costs

A provision in the 2009 federal budget bill (H.R. 1105), signed March 11 by President Barack Obama, could possibly undo what the Deficit Reduction Act of 2007 (DRA) did, which was to double or, in some cases, triple the price of oral contraceptives, AP/Google.com reports.

Prior to the 2007 DRA, pharmaceutical companies had a financial incentive to sell birth control pills at deep discounts to providers, including college clinics. A provision change in the 2007 DRA, however, “meant the discounts counted against pharmaceutical companies in a formula that calculates the rebates they owe the states to participate in Medicaid, and the discounts stopped,” the AP/Google.com report said.

The 2009 budget restores the incentive for pharmaceutical companies to offer discounts for their contraceptive drugs.

This is good news for the estimated 39 percent of American college women who take birth control pills and have watched the prices skyrocket over the past two years. Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee drug makers will take the hook.

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