Plan B: Obama allows morning-after pill for under-17s

From The Guardian UK:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/11/plan-b-morning-after-pill

President’s reversal means emergency contraception drug will be available to women of all ages without a prescription

Reuters in New York
guardian.co.uk, Monday 10 June 2013

The Obama administration will stop trying to limit sales of emergency contraception pills, making the morning-after pill available to women of all ages without a prescription.

The US justice department said in a letter on Monday that it planned to comply with a court’s ruling to allow unrestricted sales of Plan B One-Step and that it would withdraw its appeal on the matter.

The move is the latest in a lengthy legal fight over the morning-after pill, which was until recently only available without a prescription to women 17 and older who presented proof of age at a pharmacist’s counter.

Plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit against the FDA said the limit unfairly kept women and girls from accessing the drug, which is most effective when taken within 72 hours of intercourse.

On 5 April US district Judge Edward Korman said the US Food and Drug Administration had been “arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable” in rejecting a citizen petition to make emergency contraception available over the counter to girls of all ages.

Korman ordered the FDA to make emergency contraception available without age and point-of-sale restrictions but said the agency could lift restrictions on only the one-pill version of the drug, Plan B One-Step, if the FDA believed there was a significant difference between that and the two-pill version.

The justice department will not seek to lift restrictions on the two-pill Plan B product, which it says is significantly different from the one-pill version.

The FDA in April granted a petition from Plan B One-Step’s maker, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, to make the pill available without a prescription to girls as young as 15.

Continue reading at:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/11/plan-b-morning-after-pill

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