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College Students Being Forced to Pay More for Birth Control

College students are paying more to have safe sex.

The deep discounts on birth control previously enjoyed by universities are going away and returning college students will be forced to pay more for contraceptives or switch to cheaper generic brands, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Drug companies have for years sold birth control and other contraceptives to universities and colleges at discounted prices. This has allowed students to pay as little as $15 per month for contraceptives that retail for $50 or more.

But the discounts have stopped, say the universities. And the change is due to the Deficit Reduction Act signed by President Bush last year, which pared $39 billion in spending on federal programs from subsidized student loans to Medicaid.

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Universities say the change is impacting both their health centers and the students they serve. Health centers now must reconfigure their offerings and write new prescriptions, while students are making even tougher choices: switching birth control or forgoing privacy so they can buy the medication on their parents’ insurance.

Twenty-two-year-old University of Iowa student Susan Maly told WSJ she was recently forced to switch birth control pills after being told that a refill on her Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo prescription had gone up to $54 from about $18 just a few months ago. This month, she started taking a generic pill that has higher levels of estrogen than her previous choice of birth control.