Increased Access to Plan B Does Nothing for Drug Companies' Profits

Now that the Obama administration has dropped its appeal to keep age restrictions on sales of emergency contraception, it means the aisles of CVS will witness stampedes of wanton sluts eager to get their hussy hands on whore pills while evil drug companies are maniacally laughing as they roll around in a pile of cash like Demi Moore in Indecent Proposal, right? No.

It turns out that the lifted restrictions—whereby women and girls of all ages can purchase the morning after pill without a prescription or the embarrassing task of having to ask for it at the pharmacy counter—will have little impact on the botom lines of the companies that make emergency contraception.

Take Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries for example. In the last year, over-the-counter sales of Plan B One-Step brought in $93 million. But to put those earnings in perspective, that's only 2% of what the company's top-selling drug earned — a multiple sclerosis treatment that did $4 billion in sales.

And it makes sense that Plan B isn't some kind of money faucet like say, Viagra, because Viagra is all about having fun without any consequences (kind of like what sex often is for men). And perhaps more than anything, men buy Viagra in the hope of getting laid, whereas women buy Plan B in the despair that occasionally follows doing so.

So while all of these political battles and moral debates have been waged over the access of emergency contraception in the last decade, with people concerned that making the drug available to young girls will encourage sexual activity, they seemed to ignore the fact that Plan B is a major bummer that nobody actually wants. It's something that the drug companies are more than aware of, according to the New York Times:

Indeed, the news barely budged Teva’s stock, which closed down 0.42 percent Tuesday, to $39.83. Some industry analysts said the drug was simply not on their radar and was rarely discussed during earnings calls or in company presentations.

So the lift on the restrictions earlier this week wasn't so much of a windfall for big corporations, but a genuine victory for women.

Lifting Restrictions of ‘Morning After’ Pill Has Little Impact for Drug Maker [NYT]