birth control pills

Prescription birth control costs more in low income areas than it does in high income areas, which is absolutely crazy and terrible. And yet, true! Sick, Sad World The Huffington Post reports:

The cost data came from, a website developed by the Florida attorney general and the state Agency for Health Care Administration to provide pricing information on the 150 most commonly used prescription drugs in the the state. The site provides the prices that an uninsured consumer with no federal discount or supplemental plan would typically pay, as reported monthly by pharmacies.

Researchers focused on the price of seven commonly-used contraceptives — including various forms of the pill as well as transvaginal options like the ring. They cross-referenced the price information across various counties with median household incomes from the 2010 census.

Nearly every prescription contraceptive was more expensive in low-income zip codes, the researchers found.

In most cases, price differed by just a few dollars. For two of the contraceptives, the cost was significantly less in the wealthiest zip codes.



As the Huffngton Post points out, there are free clinics that can distribute forms of contraception. However, it still seems insane that this service costs less for wealthy people. I might be able to understand if it was the other way around. All sorts of things cost more in wealthy neighborhoods, perhaps because the cost of rent is more, perhaps just because people know that people will be willing to pay more. But to penalize anyone who wants to take charge of their health and for whom cost might be an issue – well, that just seems very, very wrong. If there’s one person saying “I am going to risk an unwanted pregnancy because I cannot afford birth control” then we need to be doing something to change this.