Press Esc to close
Tuesday 29 July 2014
News updated at 3:04 AM IST
Weather
Max: 0°C
Min : 0°C
In Bangalore
Sunny day

US allows unrestricted morning-after pill sales

Washington, Jun 21, 2013 (AP)
A Plan B One-Step emergency contraceptive box is seen in New York, April 5, 2013. Credit: Reuters

The US Food and Drug Administration  has approved unrestricted sales of the Plan B One-Step morning-after pill, lifting all age limits on the emergency contraceptive.

The move came a week after the Obama administration ended months of back-and-forth legal battles by promising a federal judge 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 yesterday announcing the approval.


It wasn't clear how quickly Plan B One-Step would move from behind pharmacy counters to sit on drugstore 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. FDA said the product will have to be repackaged to reflect the change; maker Teva Women's Health didn't immediately respond. FDA 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 regular contraception can cut the chances of pregnancy by up to 89 percent, but it works best within the first 24 hours.

If a girl or woman already is pregnant, the pill, which prevents ovulation or fertilisation of an egg, has no effect. Back in 2011, the FDA was preparing to allow over-the-counter sales of emergency contraceptives with no limits when Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius overruled her own scientists in an unprecedented move.

She said she worried that girls as young as 11 could use the pill with no supervision, a concern that President Barack Obama echoed.

In April, US District Judge Edward Korman blasted that decision as putting politics ahead of science and ordered the FDA to allow unrestricted sales of emergency contraceptives. He said hardly any 11-year-olds would use the pill, which costs about USD 50. The Obama administration lost a round in the appeals court, too, before telling the judge it would approve the one-pill brand.

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
England's Sam Robson, left, fields the ball beside four other slips ...

England's Sam Robson, left, fields the ball beside four other slips ...

A Muslim woman performs ablution before having iftar meal on the last day of the holy month...

A Muslim woman performs ablution before having iftar meal on the last day of the holy month...

Police take top Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda while taking him to court in Berhampur...

Police take top Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda while taking him to court in Berhampur...

The launch of Science Express biodiversity special (SEBS) train in New Delhi...

The launch of Science Express biodiversity special (SEBS) train in New Delhi...

England's Ian Bell hits a shot during the second day of the third cricket test...

England's Ian Bell hits a shot during the second day of the third cricket test...

Bollywood music director Anu Malik, actor Sonam Kapoor, filmmaker Farah Khan and Pakistani...

Bollywood music director Anu Malik, actor Sonam Kapoor, filmmaker Farah Khan and Pakistani...

India shooter Vijay Kumar at Barry Buddon Shooting Centre in

India shooter Vijay Kumar at Barry Buddon Shooting Centre in

Muslim women offer namaz in Coimbatore on Monday during...

Muslim women offer namaz in Coimbatore on Monday during...

India gold medallist Rahi Sarnobatat and silver medallist Anisa Sayyed pose for...

India gold medallist Rahi Sarnobatat and silver medallist Anisa Sayyed pose for...

Ned McKendry of Australia is seen underwater as he...

Ned McKendry of Australia is seen underwater as he...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bangalore - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523