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UNT pharmacy makes change to offer $10 birth control to students

UNT pharmacy makes change to offer $10 birth control to students

UNT pharmacy makes change to offer $10 birth control to students
December 09
12:10 2019

The UNT pharmacy is now charging $10 for the two most popular types of birth control provided at the clinic as of Nov. 16 in order to make it more affordable for students, according to pharmacy director Karen Knotts.

“Our providers have indicated that many female students express concern over the monthly cost of a pack of oral contraceptives,” Knotts said. “So we thought in order to make this option available to those who want it, we would choose two of the more popular ones and seek out a deal that would allow us to offer a couple of low cost options.”

A prescription is still needed for the two types of birth control, and over the past few weeks, the pharmacy has seen an increase in prescriptions for these contraceptives, Knotts said.

Birth Control medication Junel Fe and Spintec sit on the counter of the UNT Student Health and Wellness Center. Image by Isabel Anes

Sprintec, known as Ortho Cyclen, and Norethindrone/EE FE 1/20, also known as LoEstrin FE 1/20, are the brands of birth control offered for $10.

“So in terms of contraceptives that we’re talking about in the pharmacy, those are going to be the birth control pill,” Tess Kucera, health educator for the Meadows Center for Health Resources, said. “I just think it’s really important because it’s not just about trying to prevent pregnancy, but many students on campus and many women in general use the birth control pill for other reasons that help them. And one thing I always like to remind students is that if you are using the birth control pill, you still should use condoms as a way to protect yourself against sexually transmitted infections.”

The birth control pill can help with acne, premenstrual symptoms and mood swings as well as with the prevention of pregnancy, Kucera said.

Knotts and Kucera said they regularly refer students to make a doctor appointment at the Student Health and Wellness Center if a student is interested in receiving a prescription for birth control.

“A lot of people are coming in and saying, ‘Oh, you know I got this notice saying the birth control is for $10,’ but we can’t just give it to you,” Knotts said. “You still have to have a prescription from a doctor for it. And then, even if you can’t remember what it is, if you just say, ‘I’d like one of the $10 ones,’ then [the doctor will] know what they can pick out of the two, one they think is better for you.”

For the past eight years, the two forms of oral contraceptives cost $23 a month, Knotts said. However, the pharmacy was able to strike a deal with its wholesalers to lower the cost for students.

“I think that that’s a big thing for the student population because then they can, even if they don’t have the money, now they may be able to afford it,” psychology junior Gloria Cox said. “It will be good because it gives them the opportunity to make better choices and be prepared if they just do decide to participate in sexual relationships.”

Walmart offers these contraceptives for $9, but Knotts said the $1 difference is because of the convenience of getting the prescription filled on campus rather than going out of the way.

“It’s more convenient,” Knotts said. “So, they’re getting the same low price that they would get at Walmart with the convenience of just coming right here without having to wait for a long time and things like that. We are constantly searching for the best deals for students and we came across this amazing opportunity and thought it could be of benefit to our students.”

For women under 30, oral contraceptives are the most-used form of birth control and are 99% effective if used correctly and consistently, Knotts said.

To prevent unwanted pregnancies, Knotts said birth control saves money in comparison to the $30 morning after pill.

“As the health educator, I would say that hopefully students will see that there is this $10 birth control pill they can try,” Kucera said. “And they will still need a prescription for it, so I’m assuming the idea is that they will go to the doctor, talk to the doctor about some symptoms they might be having, why they might be interested in the birth control pill versus other forms of birth control, like an IUD or the implant, and then, if the patient and the doctor decide that one of those pills is the right option, then the student can come to our pharmacy and get that at a discounted price.”

Featured Image: The Student Health and Wellness Center has reduced the price of two generic birth controls to $10 which are now available at the UNT Pharmacy. Image by Isabel Anes

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Rebekah Schulte

Rebekah Schulte

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