Two generic versions of the emergency contraception Plan B “morning-after pill” will soon be available over-the-counter for women. The FDA issued a letter on Tuesday stating the purchase of the generic version of EC will not require proof of age but it will carry a label stating it is for use by young women age 17 and up. According to the Boston Globe, the generic versions — called My Way and Next Choice One Dose — will cost $20-$35 compared to $50 for the brand-name Plan B One-Step. This is another big step forward, after the FDA’s approval in June to sell Plan B One-Step for over-the-counter sale. Being sold on shelves means that a woman can purchase EC without being refused the medication by a pharmacist. If taken within 72 hours after unprotected sex, EC is almost 90 percent effective at preventing unwanted pregnancy. Well done, FDA! [Reproductive Health Technologies Project; Boston Globe] [Image of a pharmacist via Shutterstock]
In an enormous victory for women and girls across the nation, the Food and Drug Administration finally approved the Plan B One-Step brand morning-after pill for over-the-counter use. Plan B One-Step is a one-pill version of emergency contraception and this approval covers women and girls of all ages. Like all EC, it is more effective the sooner it is taken after unprotected sex. If taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, EC is almost 90 percent more effective at preventing unwanted pregnancy.
Earlier this month, the Obama administration backed off its resistance to making the morning-after pill accessible OTC to women and girls of all ages. Previously, Obama had been against girls younger than 15 being able to access the pill. Keep reading »
Ending a years-long losing battle against making the morning-after pill accessible to all, the Obama administration has finally conceded to the wisdom of the masses and will stop fighting against emergency contraception. Keep reading »
The two-pill version of the morning-after pill must be immediately available over-the-counter without age restrictions, a federal appeals court has ruled today. However, the court also upheld a “stay” on the one-pill version of emergency contraception (called Plan B One-Step), essentially agreeing with the Obama administration that its use for young teens needs further review.
In response to today’s decision, the president for the Center of Reproductive Rights said in a statement, “After more than a decade of politically motivated delays, women will no longer have to endure intrusive, onerous and medically unnecessary restrictions to get emergency contraception.”
Keep reading »
This is why we can’t have nice things, America.
On Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration announced the age to purchase the morning-after pill would be lowered to 15 and it would be available on shelves instead of behind-the-counter. The decision was prompted by a federal judge having struck down the “age-17 and over without a prescription” limit back in April. But no more: yesterday, the Justice Department announced its plans to appeal the federal court decision, claiming, The Washington Post reports, the federal judge “overstepped his authority.” Keep reading »
Ladies, rejoice! For once, politicians are actually expanding access to contraceptives — sort of! Following a recent court decision – Tummino v. Hamberg – mandating that the Food and Drug Administration expand access to the morning-after pill, the government agency did just that. Yesterday, the FDA announced two major changes to purchasing the emergency contraceptive:
- It has lowered the purchasing age to 15.
- It will be available on shelves instead of behind-the-counter. Keep reading »
Pediatricians should discuss emergency contraception with their teenaged patients and even write advance prescriptions, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended earlier this week. The morning-after pill should be taken 120 hours after unprotected sex, but is more effective the sooner it is taken. If taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, Plan B is almost 90 percent more effective than saying “No babies no babies no babies!” three times fast. Advance prescriptions, the AAP, explained, would help prevent teen pregnancies and put MTV’s “16 & Pregnant” franchise out of business. Keep reading »
Taking the morning-after pill in a timely fashion has been one of the biggest hurdles to overcome when it comes to reproductive rights. Emergency contraception (which prevents ovulation so an egg cannot be fertilized, as well as thins the lining of the uterus so a fertilized egg cannot be implanted) is most effective if taken within five days of unprotected sex — but the sooner the better. Even though EC, in theory, became more accessible when the FDA announced it could be sold over-the-counter to women age 17 and up, that did not play out in reality. Women who live in rural areas, as well as women who live anyplace where a pharmacist can cite a so-called conscience clause and tell her “no, not dispensing that!”, still have to do a lot of frantic scrambling at an already stressful time.
But one college in Pennsylvania has a brilliant idea on how to make EC more accessible when it is needed most: Shippensburg University in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, put a vending machine filled with Plan B in the health center. Keep reading »