When Echoing Ida's Elizabeth Dawes Gay and Renee Bracey Sherman saw social media blowing up about low cost Plan B being sold via Amazon.com, they knew something didn't quite compute. So they did the research, and found some answers and some additional questions. Check out their latest article below and spread the word!
Have you seen people you know post on social media about super cheap Plan B One-Step? Seem too good to be true? It might be.
Recently, social media lit up with the news that Amazon.com vendors areselling Plan B One-Step emergency contraception (EC) for on average $24.99—as low as $16.90 plus shipping, and as high as $1,000. On store shelves, this product goes for around $50 a pop, so the apparent price drop is exciting news for those who want to ensure people across the country have access to this form of emergency contraception. But we have to ask: How is that possible?
In 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Plan B One-Step, manufactured by Teva Women’s Health, for sale to people of all ages without a prescription and without any point-of-sale restrictions. This means that consumers do not have to go through a pharmacist or physician to obtain the product, but can purchase it directly from store shelves. While the FDA ruled in February of this year that generic emergency contraceptives could be sold on store shelves, only Teva Women’s Health’s authorized generic, Take Action, has appeared on the market. Without competition from other products, the price of Plan B One-Step has remained around $50—though when a prescription is obtained for this otherwise over-the-counter method, it is covered at no cost by health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
It is normal for prices to vary from store to store, but such a steep drop in price raises red flags, especially since the wholesale acquisition cost (the cost for wholesalers to purchase the product from the manufacturer, Teva Women’s Health) is estimated to be $32.50 for Plan B One-Step. Wholesalers then sell the product for an estimated $39.00. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that any Amazon.com vendor would be able to acquire Plan B One-Step wholesale and sell it for $16 without taking a substantial financial hit.
After looking into the products on Amazon.com, Reproductive Health Technologies Project(RHTP) found several vendors selling the product. One vendor, Simply Positive Supplements, sells Plan B One-Step under different descriptive names, prices, and manufacturers. In one instance, the manufacturer was listed as Women’s Capital Corporation, which is the trademark holder of Plan B One-Step that was acquired by Barr Pharmaceuticals in 2004. In other instances, it lists the manufacturer as “kwanja shop,” “Neugaugh,” and ”superkrit.” Clearly, something is amiss.
Read the rest of the story at RH Reality Check.