PHARMA/POLITICS: Closing the loop on Plan B

PlanbSo finally we got some resolution to the ridiculous Plan B situation which has helped drag the FDA even further into the mud —F.D.A. Gains Accord on Wider Sales of Next-Day Pill . It will go OTC but only for people over 18.

The drug agency has asked that the new Barr application restrict over-the-counter sales to women older than 18. Girls younger than 18 would have access to the pills only with prescriptions. Over-the-counter pills would be sold just in pharmacies and licensed clinics, the chairman of Barr, Bruce Downey, said.Mr. Downey said the acting Food and Drug Commissioner, Andrew C. von Eschenbach, had assured him in a call that the agency was committed to resolving the Plan B impasse. Barr had hoped to sell Plan B to women and girls of all ages, Mr. Downey said, “but I don’t have the ability to get all that I want.”

Of course this is bloody stupid, as women under-18 are those just as likely to be having unprotected sex and the consequences of them having unwanted pregnancies are much greater for them, and for the taxpayer and society, than for older women. And they are far less likely to want to have to deal with the shame and expense of going to a doctor to get a prescription. Plus the solution is unenforceable, because those under-18 will just get their friends to buy it, and they won’t even have the minor benefit of the pharmacist’s counseling.

But don’t worry about them, or the rest of us dealing with teenage pregnancies, Jesus (or at least his "representatives" on the loony right) will be happy. And they’re the ones who make scientific decisions these days.

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3 replies »

  1. There is something very sinister and skewed in the FDA’s logic of only providing OTC plan B for women above 18. They have completely ignored the reality that is all around them. Hopefully, young girls will use their ingenuity to get beyond this rather stupid rule.

  2. Fake IDs? How about just having your big sister or an older friend go in and get a Plan B for you?
    What I’m not seeing is a restriction on men buying Plan B … particularly college boys who intend to couple it with Roofies …

  3. While there is no scientific reason for restricting Plan B at 18 vs. 16, never under estimate the creativity of the American teenager when told they can’t have something. If they can produce fake IDs for cigarettes and alcohol, they can use the same fake ID for Plan B. (Remember the Bush twins were known to acquire alcohol underage.)
    My worry is now is that my email box will be flooded with two for one offers–ED drugs with plan B–two for the price of one. Which of course I can pay for with Nigerian Bank assets….