ANN ARBOR, Michigan, April 5, 2011 ( – The number of American teens using oral contraceptives is on a rapid rise according to a new study by Thomson Reuters.

The study found that eighteen percent of American teens aged 13 to 18 were prescribed oral contraceptives through commercial and Medicaid insurance in 2009.  Oral contraceptive prescriptions for commercially insured teens increased 50 percent (from 12 to 18 percent), while among those with Medicaid they increased 29 percent (from 14 to 18 percent), from 2002 to 2009. 

The study was based on data from the Thomson Reuters MarketScan Commercial Database and the Multi-State Medicaid Database; the data covered over 3 million women “ages 13 to 33 with at least six months of enrollment in a year and prescription drug coverage from 2002-2009.”

The study found that the rise in contraceptive use increased with the age of the girls and when they were covered by Medicaid or commercial insurance.  It revealed that 3.7 percent of 13-year-olds with Medicaid and 2.8 percent with commercial insurance were prescribed contraceptives in 2009.  In 18-year-olds, however, the data shows a sharp increase, with 27.1 percent of those with Medicaid and 30.5 percent with commercial insurance prescribed oral contraceptives.

“These findings provide a benchmark for oral contraceptive use in the insured population,” said Bill Marder, SVP and healthcare economist at Thomson Reuters. 

“The trend of increasing utilization will be interesting to monitor in light of the current debate on whether contraceptives should be provided as part of the preventative health services provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”

To view the entire study, click here.