Reaction to FDA's Decision on Plan B, Emergency Contraception
WASHINGTON, DC - Today, the Food and Drug Administration said it will make the Plan B emergency contraceptive pill available without a prescription for women 18 and over. Plan B will remain available as a prescription-only product for women age 17 and under. For 3 years FDA had refused to approve applications to give Plan B over-the-counter status despite the fact that in 2003, FDA's own panel of experts vote voted 23-4 in favor of over-the-counter status for Plan B.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (NY-14) is the sponsor of the Plan B for Plan B Act (H.R. 4229), which would give the FDA a short timetable in which to make a scientifically-sound decision on Plan B, and today she reacted to the news.
"I am pleased that FDA has finally made a decision that will significantly benefit women's health. But I'm still concerned that politics is driving this issue. The product has not changed in 3 years, but the political climate has. The president can no longer afford to ignore the majority of Americans who want access to safe birth control."
"I pledge to further my efforts to help women of all ages receive the safest and most effective healthcare available and work to reduce the arbitrary age restriction on the OTC use of Plan B that is not supported by the science. I am deeply concerned that this barrier, coupled with the ongoing problem of pharmacists imposing their personal beliefs on consumers and refusing to fill legal prescriptions, will threaten women's access to birth control."
In November 2005, a GAO report requested by Maloney and colleagues showed that politics was a determining factor in the FDA’s decision on Plan B (http://maloney.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1000&Itemid=61).
Maloney also helped author and introduce a bill to speed up the FDA’s timetable to make a decision on Plan B (http://maloney.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=996&Itemid=61).