Contraceptives Cost More in Economically Disadvantaged Areas
It appears that prescription contraceptives may be more costly in some lower- economic neighborhoods than in wealthier ones, according to a small study of pharmacy sales data conducted in Florida.
Despite the fact that these results are only preliminary, the researchers from the University of Tennessee agree that the data might be indicative of current and ongoing pharmaceutical market trends in some neighborhoods in Florida and that it might have more implications for low-income women looking to prevent unwanted pregnancies.
Particular prescription contraceptives in lower income neighborhoods have higher price tags and will consequently lower accessibility for women on lower incomes living in those areas, medical researchers noted. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists presented these findings at annual meeting in New Orleans.
This discrepancy is evident where the annual income of the neighborhood is between $29,069 to $34,307, and where prescription oral contraceptives, such as Yasmin, Zarah, and Ocella, are sold for $72.05 a month. However, in other areas where income ranged from $47,407 to $131,250, the same oral contraceptives would cost only $63.31 â€“ about $8 dollars difference!
The birth control norgestimate/ethinyl estradiol triphasic (Tri-Sprintec, Ortho Tri-Cyclen, TriNessa, and Tri-Previfem) are being sold at $32.52 in lower income neighborhoods, while middle to high income neighborhoods were able to purchase them at $29.29 â€“ a savings of roughly $3.24.
Buying birth control devices, like IUDs, may cost you anywhere from $500 to $1,000 depending on where you are and what type of health insurance you had, which many in lower economic brackets seldom have. Insurance plans however, were not factored into the results of this study.
The cost of contraceptives is believed to be one of the barriers for women acquiring, researchers say. This cost-associated reduction of access is presumably one of the main reasons that the rate of unintended pregnancy is so high.
In the US, there an estimated 6.7 million unintended births every year. For women at a lower economic level, the rate of unintended pregnancies was five times higher than that of women from a more wellto-do background. These figures tended to be even higher in areas with large urban populations.
The researchers concede the possibility that Florida might be the only state to exhibit this phenomenon and these incidences may not necessarily reflect other parts of the US, however it is certain that Florida is the only state that requires pharmacies to list the cost of medications in an annual census. These initial findings need to confirmed in order to determine how best to implement a more cost-equitable distribution of contraceptives to women of all socioeconomic groups.