No Plan B for over the counter contraceptive
- By: Janice Hopkins
Family planning groups, women's organisations, obstetricians and gynaecologists, legislators, and national newspapers in the United States recently protested at the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) refusal to permit sales over the counter (without a prescription) of an emergency contraceptive.
In making its decision the FDA over-ruled its own scientific advisory committee and its professional staff.
Many experts said it was an attack on contraception by the antiabortion Bush administration. But Dr Steven Galson, acting director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, defended the decision, saying it was not politically motivated. Conservative groups said that the contraceptive, called Plan B, would have increased rates of pregnancy among teenagers and that the drug was dangerous.
The FDA rejected the application of the drug company Barr Research for over the counter status for its product, saying the company had not shown that adolescent women could understand the product instructions. The