The U.S. Supreme Court decision last week overturning a landmark, 50-year-old ruling that legalized abortion could boost sales of a new oral, over-the-counter contraceptive drug that Perrigo Co. plc plans to bring to the market.
In a note today to investors, Raymond James analyst Elliot Wilbur wrote that Friday’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade and saying there is no federal constitutional right to abortion “is likely the catalyst needed to put (over-the-counter) access to oral contraceptives on the front page.”
“There is simply no company that could benefit more than (Perrigo) from a potential shift towards more accessible contraception options that could be catalyzed by the (U.S. Supreme Court) decision and the resulting financial impact could be significant,” Wilbur wrote, according to the investor website Seeking Alpha.
Perrigo, domiciled in Ireland but operated from West Michigan, plans to soon seek U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval to introduce a daily over-the-counter contraceptive pill, Perrigo President and CEO Murray Kessler said during a June 15 investor presentation.
Perrigo seeks to lead the switch of oral contraceptives from prescription to over-the-counter status, Kessler said at the Oppenheimer Consumer Growth and E-Commerce Conference.
The pill is already approved in the United Kingdom, and Perrigo plans to seek approval for the pill in three other countries, he said.
“We believe we will successfully lead that switch to have the first daily, oral birth control pill in the United States,” Kessler said. “I think that has the potential to be huge for the company.”
Kessler cited consumer studies that indicate 30 percent of consumers “still say it is very difficult to get access to birth control pills, and we will be providing access at an affordable price with an everyday birth control pill, and giving everything else that’s happening in the world, especially the U.S. right now, I think the timing is right for it.”
Perrigo closed in April on the $2.1 billion acquisition of Paris-based HRA Pharma whose women’s health product portfolio includes oral contraceptive pills.
One research firm, Fortune Business Insights, estimates the North American contraceptive drug market was $6.56 billion in 2020, and $13.01 billion globally as of 2021. In a January report, the firm estimated the global market would grow to $18.37 billion in 2028.