(Updated 2022) A friend who contributed to the Price of Birth Control map — our legacy project crowdsourcing the changing cost of birth control, in partnership with WNYC — followed up with this email:
“I wanted to add a couple things that wouldn’t fit on the form. I’ve just recently been having some drama around my pill prescription so this is the perfect time for me to be filling out this info!
“I selected Yaz28 on your form, but I actually take Beyaz and I just started taking it because I was on Yaz prior but my insurance stopped covering it. They instead covered the generic version which I tried and didn’t like. I had to then go to my gyno to get her to make a case for why I should be on Yaz essentially so that my insurance would continue to cover it. Instead she gave me a magical card that made it so my prescription for Yaz only cost $25.
“This worked wonders for months until just the other day, the card (of course, I can’t remember the name of it since I handed it over to my pharmacy months back) stopped covering Yaz, but would instead cover Beyaz, which is super similar. The first time I spoke with my gyno’s office they said I needed to come in in person for a new script, but when I called back the next day they were able to fax/send one over to my pharmacy after all. I went to my pharmacy later on that day and the script was $20 instead of $25. Kind of a lot of hoopla to go through to get cheap birth control, but glad to be on it for now.
We here at clearhealthcosts have pointed out that Yaz sales have dropped.
Because of our correspondent’s note, we did a bit of research and on the web site of Bayer, the manufacturer, we noticed this press release, describing Beyaz as Yaz with folate.
“Berlin, September 27, 2010 — Bayer Schering Pharma AG, Germany, has received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its new Beyaz®. It is the first and only oral contraceptive (OC) approved to raise folate levels in women who choose an OC for birth control. In these women, Beyaz raises folate levels for the purpose of reducing the risk of a neural tube defect (NTD) in a pregnancy conceived while taking Beyaz or shortly after discontinuing it. It combines the hormone ingredients in the birth control pill YAZ® with Metafolin®*, a stable form of the naturally occurring folate predominantly found in food. Folates belong to the group of B vitamins.”
Yaz is quite expensive (around $80 to $105 per month for those who pay out of pocket). The generic versions, which came on the market last year, are pricey too.
Yaz, as well as its cousins like Yasmin, Yasminelle and their generics, have been controversial. An in-depth article by NPR last year highlighted some of the issues. We don’t give anything suggesting medical advice, but still we’re interested in your experiences. Drop us a line at info [at] clearhealthcosts [dot] com.
Jeanne Pinder is the founder and CEO of ClearHealthCosts. She worked at The New York Times for almost 25 years as a reporter, editor and human resources executive, then volunteered for a buyout and founded ClearHealthCosts.
She was previously a fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at the Columbia University School of Journalism. ClearHealthCosts has won grants from the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York; the International Women’s Media Foundation; the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation with KQED public radio in San Francisco and KPCC in Los Angeles; the Lenfest Foundation in Philadelphia for a partnership with The Philadelphia Inquirer; and the New York State Health Foundation for a partnership with WNYC public radio/Gothamist in New York; and other honors.
Her TED talk about fixing health costs has surpassed 2 million views.