What's new - Fashion & Trends
Administration OKs Morning-After Pill Sales With No Age Limit
The Obama administration will allow minors to obtain the morning-after pill dropping its appeal of a judge's order requiring it to be sold over the counter. The Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services eventually agreed to make the single-pill version of the drug available "without age or point-of-sale restrictions."
In April, the government tried to stop contraception sales to underage females after U.S. District Judge Edward Korman had ruled that the government must allow over-the-counter sales. A federal appeals court rejected the administration's challenge to that ruling last week. The administration had been criticized by some women's rights groups for trying to stop contraception sales to underage females.
The FDA has asked the maker of the single-pill emergency contraceptive known as Plan B One-Step to submit a new request for over-the-counter approval, the letter states. The agency "will approve it without delay" once filed. But the FDA won't allow girls to obtain a two-pill version of the drug, saying there is less safety data available on the use of the product by younger adolescents.
The key ingredient in Plan B is the synthetic hormone levonorgestrel, which can prevent fertilization or prevent a fertilized egg from embedding in the uterus. Emergency contraceptives are intended for use within 72 hours after sex but are most effective if taken within 24 hours.
The FDA announced two years ago there would be no limits on over-the-counter sales of morning-after pills. But Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius unilaterally ordered the age and prescription restrictions, prompting lawsuits.
Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington, praised the decision.
"After far too long of a delay, science has prevailed," said Murray, who called emergency contraception "an essential part of women's basic health care."
"Today's move by the administration means the safety and effectiveness of Plan B, not politics, will dictate access," she said.
And the abortion rights group NARAL Pro-Choice America said the decision "ends a nearly decade-long battle over lowering barriers to this important medication."
"Health experts like the American Academy of Pediatrics and many others agree that emergency contraception is safe and effective for women of all ages," Ilyse Hogue, president of the rights group, said in a statement hailing the move. "We're happy to see this long overdue victory for science over politics."
The move is likely to draw criticism from opponents of abortion rights, who had condemned Korman's April ruling.
Korman had criticized what he called "nonsensical" government rules that he said unfairly favored the single-pill version over the cheaper, generic two-pill version. Under current policies, prescriptions are still needed for the generic version for those under age 17.
Supporters of Korman's ruling called it a landmark decision, while opponents raised concerns about safeguards being eliminated.
The FDA said in May that it was changing its regulations, allowing sales by a private pharmaceutical firm, Teva Women's Health, to those 15 and over without a prescription. Only those 17 or older were previously allowed to buy the contraceptive.
Many developed countries require a prescription for oral contraceptives, including Canada and most of Europe. Other countries sell the pill without a prescription.
Be the first to add your comments
Comment on this article
Login to submit a comment
What we offer
GajGal is an expanding community of mothers helping mothers. Our motto “Get a Job | Get a Life” is based on the belief that for mothers wanting to get back into the workforce, finding a job with “the right level” of flexibility, empowers working mothers to live life on their own terms and better control their own destiny.
GajGal aims to address this “new reality” through four core components:
- 1. Job Search and Matching tools to streamline finding the perfect fit for flexible work arrangements.
- 2. Access to Benefits that in the traditional work environment have been provided by full time employers. GajGal helps to provide a critical mass of members to ensure access to a range of benefits options that we are continually working to expand and improve on.
- 3. Working Mother Community to provide access to news, blogs and articles of interest and importance to working mothers and a social networking community that working mothers can interact with and draw on for support.
- 4. The Entrepreneur Zone is for mothers aiming to start their own business and expand on the concepts of working mothers helping working mothers succeed.
“Using your Benefits link made it easy to select from a wide range of health insurance offerings and narrow down the various plans available that best fit my needs. Being able to make a side by side comparison of the details further helped me make an informed decision on a plan with great rates. The application is swift and uncomplicated”
“ WOW this is a fantastic idea aimed at a true need. I have had a hard time preparing to go back to work after staying home with my two kids for the past 4 years. I am so excited to start adding my requirements and get started on the search. The Latest News and Benefits are an excellent idea. I would come here to read this even if I wasn't looking for a job right now”