West Virginia-based family planning clinics can provide low-income women and students with no-cost contraceptive pills and patches for about one more month, the Charleston Gazette reports (Kelly, Charleston Gazette, 8/15).
According to WV Family Planning Program Director Denise Smith, the state's cost of a 30-day supply of one type of contraceptive pill made by manufacturer Ortho-McNeil last month increased from $0.01 to $21.01, and the cost of the company's Ortho Evra patch increased from $12.15 to $22.46.
The company provided more than 75% of contraceptive pills to the state program -- which contracts with private health clinics statewide -- and it is the only state provider of the birth control patch.
Smith in July said that officials are exploring generic birth control options but that the associated bidding process could take about two months.
Smith and acting Pharmaceutical Advocate Shana Phares during a meeting earlier this month formulated four potential solutions that would allow West Virginia to continue to provide contraceptive pills and patches at no cost to low-income women (Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy Report, 8/3).
WVFPP as of Monday is out of four types of birth control pills and has only 600 contraceptive patches, according to Smith.
Shelley Martin, spokesperson for the Monongalia County Health Department, said that the shortage will force women to receive prescriptions.
Receiving prescriptions would mean that people would have to pay for birth control, which low-income women and students cannot afford, Jan Palmer, director of West Virginia University's student health services, said (Charleston Gazette, 8/15).