'Plan B' on the way to shelves sans limits
WASHINGTON — The morning-after pill is going over-the-counter.
The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday approved unrestricted sales of Plan B One-Step, lifting all age limits on the emergency contraceptive.
The move occurred a week after the Obama administration ended months of back-and-forth legal battles by promising a federal judge that it would take that step. Women's health advocates had pushed for easier access to next-day birth control for more than a decade.
“Over-the-counter access to emergency contraceptive products has the potential to further decrease the rate of unintended pregnancies in the United States,” FDA drug chief Dr. Janet Woodcock said in a statement announcing the approval.
It wasn't clear how quickly Plan B One-Step would move from behind pharmacy counters to sit on pharmacy shelves. Until now, customers could buy that morning-after pill and competing generic versions without a prescription only if they proved to a pharmacist that they were 17 or older.
The FDA said the product must be repackaged to reflect the change;. Maker Teva Women's Health didn't immediately respond.
The agency, though, has not lifted age limits on competing generics.
The morning-after pill contains a higher dose of the hormone in regular birth-control pills. Taking it within 72 hours of rape, condom failure or just forgetting traditional contraception can cut the chances of pregnancy by up to 89 percent.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- Obama targets cyber attackers with sanctions
- New York City police detective loses badge over Uber driver rage
- California issues mandatory water restrictions
- Feds won’t prosecute former IRS official Lerner for contempt
- National park entry fees on rise as summer nears
- Mining for tourists? A dubious economic savior in Appalachia
- Mysteries of dark matter come to light in Science study
- Privacy and private parts: Nude neighbor exposes law’s limit
- Budget blueprint adopted by GOP will pit doves and hawks