I love a bargain almost as much as I love affordable access to contraception, emergency and otherwise, but the good folks at RH Reality Check have looked into some of the vendors selling Plan B on Amazon and they are advising against getting in on the action:
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.
The article insinuates that the most likely source of discount Plan B are people who’ve obtained the stuff from free clinics or low-income providers, the resale of which is clearly prohibited. And that’s the best case scenario. Worse, of course, would be getting an emergency contraception placebo, the very idea of which strikes fear into my heart.
I am with RH Reality Check on this one:
While we certainly hope that market forces lower the price of EC and support expanded access and improved availability, we hope consumers will exercise some caution when seeking this important product.
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