Archive for the ‘FDA’ Category

Morning After Pill Still Behind the Counter

Friday, December 9th, 2011

The Plan B morning after pill actually won’t be available on the shelves of drugstores, according to the Associated Press article “Morning-after pill stays behind counter after all, by Lauran Neergaard.  Plans were in place to make the morning after pill available on store shelves after a recommendation by the FDA, but Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius stopped those plans.  Her decision is backed by the Obama administration.  Sebelius said that she worries a product like the morning after pill will confuse 11-year olds shopping at drugstores.  While the FDA wanted the age 17 limit lifted, Sebelius said that there is not significant proof that younger girls would use the morning after pill properly.  One pediatrician countered that even the youngest girls would not be negatively affected by the hormones in the morning after pill.

While those arguments are questionable, the Plan B morning after pill is still available over the counter to anyone over the age of 17 who needs it.  You don’t have to have a prescription for Plan B or for Next Choice, a generic 2 pill version of the morning after pill.  For the pill Ella, you do have to have a prescription and whether or not it will be covered under your insurance depends on your particular health insurance rates and plan.  The pill is expensive, $50 for Plan B, but is 89% effective at preventing an unwanted pregnancy if taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex.  The political debate on this issue is hot, with conservatives pleased and liberals irritated.  Although some consider Plan B an abortion pill, it has no effect if a woman is already pregnant.  This debate surely will rage on.