Birth control prices rise

By Gus Bode

The federal government is meddling in the sex lives of SIUC students.

Federal legislation has caused prescription birth control prices to increase at SIUC’s Student Health Center.

Questions about birth control? Call the Student Health Center at 453-3311 or visit


The cost of three contraceptives have increased in recent months and the trend is likely to continue, said Sue Chaney, director of the Student Health Center pharmacy.

NuvaRing, a prescription contraceptive, cost $11.50 before its recent rise to $22.50. Ovcon and Estrostep each cost $9 before a price increase to $22.50 in summer 2006.

Chaney said the price of other forms of prescription birth control would likely increase soon as a result of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, which took effect in January. When signing the bill in February 2006, President Bush said the act was designed to save the government money.

“We no longer get a great price that we can pass on to students,” she said. Chaney said the pharmacy would sell its remaining stock at regular price.


“We’re not going to up everything immediately,” she said. “We’re going to wait until we have to order the more expensive kind.”

Chaney said the center provides birth control to students for less than other pharmacies even with the increases.

Erica Dodt, a junior from Kankakee studying zoology, said she hoped the increased price of birth control would force sexually active couples to discuss the cost of health care.

“In my opinion, if you’re in a couple relationship, the significant other should help pay for birth control,” she said.

Chaney said the Student Health Center began offering Plan B – also known as the morning-after pill – without a prescription in the fall. A person must be 18 or older to purchase the $24 emergency contraceptive.

Although anyone can purchase over-the-counter medication from the center’s pharmacy, only students can buy products that require prescriptions.

[email protected] 536-3311 ext. 259