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BG Falcon Media

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BG Falcon Media

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April 11, 2024

  • Poetics of April
    As we enter into the poetics of April, also known as national poetry month, here are four voices from well to lesser known. The Tradition – Jericho Brown Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Brown visited the last American Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP 2024) conference, and I loved his speech and humor. Besides […]
  • Barbara Marie Minney in Perrysburg
    Indie bookstore, Gathering Volumes, just hosted poet and (transgender) activist, Barbara Marie Minney in Perrysburg To celebrate Trans Day of Visibility, Minney read from her poetry book – A Woman in Progress (2024). Her reading depicted emotional and physical transformations especially in the scene of womanhood and queer experiences. Her language is empowering and personally […]
Spring Housing Guide

Paying a higher price for safe sex

By the end of the month, students who take birth control may get an unpleasant surprise. They’ll now need to shell out up to $30 to practice safe sex.

Soon college campuses across the country – including the University – will see a dramatic increase in the price of oral and non-oral contraceptives. The increase is the result of a Deficit Reduction Act passed by Congress in 2005 in an effort to cut down rising Medicare costs and curb national spending.

Before January, drug companies could sell their prescriptions to college campuses at a discount, allowing the universities to sell affordable birth control to students whose insurance plans didn’t cover oral contraceptives. Last year a student could pay $10 to $15 for a prescription that would cost up to $50 at another pharmacy. The DRA cut college health care centers from the list of providers who could receive prescriptions at a lower cost.

And officials at the University’s Student Health Center aren’t happy about it.

“The problem was in the language of the bill,” said Cindy Puffer, director of the BGSU pharmacy. “It severely limited the ability of student health centers to provide affordable birth control to students.”

The law went into effect at the beginning of this year, but because the University was prepared for the increase they bought large stocks of oral contraceptives at the discounted prices in an effort to keep the prices down for as long as possible, said Dr. Glenn Egelman, physcian-in-chief of the student health services.

But that will only softened the blow for a short time. Medications expire and the health center eventually ran out of the cheaper pills, he said.

To keep prices as low as possible, the University’s pharmacy is buying more generic brands of the most popular prescriptions.

The problem is that many popular prescriptions do not have generic substitutes yet, Puffer said.

For example, the cost of Ortho Tri-Cyclen will rise – going from $20 to $50 – because there isn’t a generic substitute available.

According to a 2006 survey conducted by the American College Health Association 39 percent of college women use oral contraceptives.

Egelman thinks those numbers could drop thanks to the price increase.

“My fear is that those whose health insurance does not cover birth control will just stop taking it,” he said.

Junior Kelly Rutschilling was surprised at the higher price of her birth control when she went to the health center last week.

Rutschilling, who pays $40 a month for Yaz, said she may switch to a less expensive generic pill. Still, she wonders if it will have the benefits Yaz does.

In the meantime, Rutschilling may have to cut back on expenses.

“I would think twice before going out to eat or anything,” she said.

Students covered under the University’s health plan will still be able to purchase contraceptives at a low cost with a co-pay. Those who don’t use the University’s plan should check their plans, Puffer said.

As the health center’s stockpile runs out and students begin to notice the large spike in prices, the Student Health Center will continue to do everything they can to help keep costs down Puffer said.

Egleman suggests that students budget for their prescriptions and consider visiting the Student Money Managment Services in 101 Hayes Hall.

“I sincerely hope that students do not stop using birth control,” Egelman said, “Because in reality the alternative is much more expensive than $40 to $50 a month.”

LOCAL PRICES

WAL-MART (S. Main St.): Yaz, $51.62 / NuvaRing, $47.54

THE PHARM (N. Main St.): Yaz, $49.42 / NuvaRing, $48.29

UNIVERSITY: Yaz, $50 / NuvaRing, $40

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