Study: Year-Long Birth Control Prescription Saves Money

It can save the US Veteran Affairs health care system over US$2 million annually.

KUALA LUMPUR, July 10 — A study on female US veterans found that giving them a year-long supply of birth control pills would save the Veteran Affairs (VA) health system over US$2 million annually.

A 12-month birth control pill dispensing option would also save each woman US$87.12 yearly, besides preventing an estimated 583 unintended pregnancies annually in the VA health care system, Business Insider reported.

US health insurance typically provide a three-month refill period for oral contraceptives, with Business Insider reporting that most American women have to refill their prescriptions on a monthly, bi-monthly, or tri-monthly basis.

“A gap of seven days or more between [birth control pill] refills could put women at high risks for pregnancies, and that’s not unique to women veterans,” Dr Sonya Borrero, one of the authors of the study from scientists at University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, was quoted saying.

“Women of reproductive age are incredibly busy with jobs, child care, and parental care, so refills can fall to the bottom of their priority list.” 

The study analysed data from 24,309 women enrolled in the VA health care system, who were taking oral contraceptives, and examined the number of monthly unintended pregnancies and how much these women paid for three-month pill supplies.

Dr Borrero reportedly said all women should have access to year-long birth control. 

A 2011 research in the Obstetrics & Gynaecology journal, which studied 84,401 women who took oral contraceptives through a California family planning programme, found that for every 1,000 women, 30 who received one- or three-month birth control pill supplies had unintended pregnancies, compared to 10 who used year-long supplies.

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