Monday, July 31, 2006

Emergency Contraception News

In somewhat surprising news, the FDA announced today that it may be moving forward on over-the-counter access to emergency contraceptives. According to the agency's press release, "In the letter to Duramed [maker of the Plan B emergency contraceptive], the Agency communicated its plan to proceed working with the Sponsor in order to move Plan B from prescription only to over-the-counter status for woman ages 18 and older. The steps FDA has taken with respect to this application and the letter it issued to the Sponsor of Plan B today underscores FDA's commitment to public health and safety."

This action comes after the FDA issued a comment period to address questions such as whether separate status for minors and those over 18 was enforceable, and whether a drug marketed for both prescription and OTC use could be sold in the same packaging. The FDA's summary of the comments received is available as a PDF.

  • FDA Press Release
  • Related FDA Materials on Plan B

  • FDA Plans to Consider Morning-After Pill - New York Times
  • FDA Weights Over-the-Counter Plan B Sales - Washington Post
  • von Eschenbach Continues to Politicize Women's Lives - Thoughts of an Average Woman

    Locally, Vanderbilt is developing what they call a more "unified emergency contraceptive plan." The piece outlines some of the problems patients face in accessing and obtaining emergency contraceptives, and how the Medical Center plans to address this issue. Also according to the story, Chancellor Gee's daughter was involved in the lawsuit against Massachusetts Wal-Mart pharmacies where prescriptions for the drug were refused.

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    MeSH Tags: Contraception, Postcoital; Levonorgestrel

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