FDA OKs sale of 'Morning-after' pill without age limit

FDA OKs sale of 'Morning-after' pill without age limit
Girls of all ages will now have easier access to the emergency contraceptive.

(HealthDay)—The so-called morning-after pill is about to go over-the-counter, with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announcing Thursday that it has approved unrestricted sales of Plan B One-Step.

The move follows a decision earlier this month by the Obama administration to drop its effort to fight a court order that would make the emergency contraceptive pill available over-the-counter to all women and girls, regardless of age.

After fighting for an age threshold on the nonprescription use of the One-Step pill for months, the FDA said June 10 that it would heed the ruling of Judge Edward Korman, of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. The drug prevents conception if taken within 72 hours of .

Korman first issued his order April 5, igniting a battle over whether young girls could gain access to emergency contraception without a prescription. Soon after, on April 30, the FDA lowered to 15 the age at which people could purchase the Plan B One-Step pill over-the-counter—two years younger than the prior age limit of 17.

A day later, on May 1, the Obama administration stepped in to appeal the Korman decision.

At the time of the FDA's move to lower the age limit, agency Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg said that "research has shown that access to emergency contraceptive products has the potential to further decrease the rate of in the United States.

"The data reviewed by the agency demonstrated that women 15 years of age and older were able to understand how Plan B One-Step works, how to use it properly and that it does not prevent the transmission of a sexually transmitted disease," she said.

Plan B prevents implantation of a fertilized egg in a woman's uterus through the use of , a synthetic form of the hormone progesterone used for decades in . Plan B contains 1.5 milligrams of levonorgestrel, more than the pill contains. It is considered a form of birth control, not abortion.

The Associated Press reported that the FDA's announcement Thursday only applied to Plan B One-Step. Other brands of emergency contraception include Next Choice and Ella.

Planned Parenthood has long pushed for wider access to . But conservative groups have objected to such a move.

More information: There's more on emergency contraception at the World Health Organization.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

US to allow morning-after pill for girls of any age

Jun 11, 2013

The Obama administration said Monday it would comply with a judge's order to allow women and girls of any age to purchase emergency contraception, ending its efforts to restrict the drug's availability.

US: Morning-after pill OK for ages 15 and up (Update)

Apr 30, 2013

The U.S. government on Tuesday lowered to 15 the age at which girls can buy the morning-after pill without a prescription and said the emergency contraception no longer has to be kept behind pharmacy counters.

US Justice Department appeals morning-after case

May 02, 2013

(AP)—The Obama administration appealed a federal judge's order to lift all age limits on who can buy morning-after birth control pills without a prescription. In appealing the ruling on Wednesday, the administration ...

Recommended for you

Have a cold? Don't ask your doctor for antibiotics

Nov 26, 2014

Antibiotic resistance is a major threat to public health. Resistance makes it harder for physicians to treat infections and can increase the chance patients will die from an infection. What is more, the treatment ...

Powdered measles vaccine found safe in early clinical trials

Nov 25, 2014

A measles vaccine made of fine dry powder and delivered with a puff of air triggered no adverse side effects in early human testing and it is likely effective, according to a paper to be published November 28 in the journal ...

User comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

freethinking
1 / 5 (1) Jun 21, 2013
Yup, Progressives have no issues allowing 12 year old girls to buy powerful drugs. Try having a 12 year old girl buy an antihistamine or cold medication.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.