U.S. District Court Finds the FDA's Actions on Plan B(R) Tainted by Politics
"This ruling validates what we have known all along - politicians trumped the scientists when it came to the FDA's handling of Plan B," said
This ruling comes in response to a lawsuit filed by the Center for Reproductive Rights against the FDA for its failure to make emergency contraception Plan B available over-the-counter. The lawsuit claimed that the FDA broke its own rules and regulations, ignored medical consensus, as well as the expertise of its own scientists and advisory committees by holding Plan B to an arbitrarily higher standard than other OTC products. The plaintiffs asked the court to order the FDA to make Plan B available over-the-counter for women of all ages.
Plan B is an FDA-approved, back-up birth control method that can prevent pregnancy in the first few days after sex. Containing a concentrated dose of the progestin hormone found in daily birth control pills, Plan B can reduce the risk of pregnancy by up to 89 percent when taken within 72 hours of sexual intercourse (the sooner a woman takes it, the more effective it is). Critics have argued that increased access to Plan B would lead to promiscuity or other risky health behaviors but these concerns are misplaced. Real world experience with EC and other contraceptives show that reducing barriers to access is important but not sufficient when it comes to reducing unintended pregnancy. Access must be coupled with information and education to help individuals make healthy choices throughout their lifetime.
For more information including a complete timeline of the approval process for Plan B OTC please visit: http://www.rhtp.org
SOURCE Reproductive Health Technologies Project