Quantcast
The Plan B solution goes over-the-counter – QNS.com

The Plan B solution goes over-the-counter

For women over the age of 18, an event of unprotected sex now has a birth-control safeguard of an after-the-act prophylactic. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the morning after pill, which prevents pregnancy up to three days after sexual intercourse, for over the counter sale.
The contraceptive known as Plan B, formerly only available by prescription, can significantly reduce the chance of pregnancy if taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex. Like traditional birth control, Plan B contains the active ingredient levonorgestrel, however with much higher doses in a single pill. It is not for everyday use.
According to Dr. Wayne Cohen, Chairman of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Jamaica Hospital Center, 50 percent of pregnancies are unintended, and though many believe easy access to the pill will increase sexual activity, promote promiscuity, and abortions, he says it is quite the opposite. &#8220It will decrease the number of abortions,” as the pill prevents a woman's egg from being fertilized.” The pill doesn't affect women who are already pregnant.
Plan B's road to over-the-counter approval from the FDA began in 2003 and was surrounded by controversy as the issue of non-prescription access to girls as young as 16 was debated. The FDA was concerned with enforcing and marketing an age-based restriction so they sought public opinion.
Based on the public comment, the FDA approved Plan B for over-the-counter use, however only for women over 18 and with the following marketing commitments from the pills manufacturer Duramed.
The FDA requires Duramed to provide a toll-free number for questions regarding Plan B; ensure that Plan B will only be sold through licensed operations and not convenience stores or retail outlets; and both the prescription version of Plan B and over-the-counter version will be stocked behind the counters of pharmacies.
As for concerns of the danger to adolescent girls who will obtain the pills from older peers, Dr. Cohen says that from a purely medical standpoint, Plan B is no more a risk to a 16-year-old than a 26-year-old, as experience in countries already selling the emergency contraceptive pill with no age restriction indicates.
&#8220I am very pleased with the FDA's decision, it's very important for women, giving them more reproductive control without significant risk,” stated Dr. Cohen.

More from Around New York