Thursday, April 23, 2009

Plan B Available to 17 Year Olds

Created by: Jillian

U.S. District Judge Edward Korman ruled last month in a lawsuit filed in New York that Bush administration appointees let politics, not science, drive their decision to restrict over-the-counter access. Now, the FDA is upholding that decision and will be allowing those 17 years of age to purchase Plan B over the counter. Prior to this ruling, only those 18 and older were able to purchase Plan B without a prescription.

This is a good first step. But, this debate has been a long and heated one and is far from over. "In 2003, a panel of outside advisers voted 23-4 to recommend over-the-counter sales without age restrictions. But top FDA officials told their subordinates that no approval could be issued at the time, and the decision would be made at a higher level. That's considered highly unusual, since the FDA usually has the last word on drug decisions."

There is no scientific reason for Plan B to be restricted based on age. But instead of complaining-- today, we can celebrate one small step toward placing science before ideology.

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