Price of Pill for Students Soars

Rule change eliminates discounts at college health centers
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 22, 2007 3:45 AM CST
The price of birth control pills have soared for students and low-income women because a change in Medicaid rules inadvertently removed discounts offered to health centers by drug companies.   (Archive Photos)
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(Newser) – Female students at US colleges may be cutting back on reliable contraceptives because a quirk in a federal law has made birth-control pills up to four times more expensive, health officials warn. A recent change in Medicaid regulations means drug companies no longer offer big discounts to health centers where students and low-income women obtain the pills, the New York Times reports.

One student reports the price of her monthly packet of pills jumped from $12 to $50. "That doesn’t mean you’ll stop having sex," she said. Congress may reinstate the discounts, which were inadvertently eliminated in Medicaid legislation. “This is such a mainstream issue,” said Planned Parenthood's president. But some critics wonder why college students got discounts in the first place.