The director of the FDA’s Office of Women’s Health resigned last week in protest to the agency refusing to allow the morning-after pill to be sold over the counter.
The Morning-after-pill, Plan B, is a high dose Progestin that can prevent an unwanted pregnancy if taken within 72 hours after unprotected intercourse. It can reduce the risk of pregnancy by 89%. The maker of Plan B, Barr Pharmaceuticals has been trying to get nonprescription sales of Plan B for two years. Plan B has been used by more than 2.4 million Americans. Our nation currently has 3 million unintended pregnancies yearly.
The FDA considered having the product available without a prescription for women over 17 years old. Anyone under that age would need a prescription.
The FDA later said that they were unable to know how pharmacies could enforce an age limit or whether it was even legal.
Wait a minute…
Isn’t there an age limit for selling cigarettes to minors? You need to show an ID and be at least 17 years old to purchase cigarettes. I can think of a lot more side effects and reasons not to sell cigarettes over the counter than two Progestin pills that have very few side effects and are not addicting.
I know this is a controversial issue, but for now, you can get Plan B by calling any Planned Parenthood office even if you are not a patient with them.
CNN.com – FDA official resigns over contraception policy – Aug 31, 2005