.- Democratic senators have blocked the nomination of a commissioner to the Food and Drug Administration because the FDA has not yet decided whether to allow non-prescription sales of the morning-after pill, also known as Plan B.
The nomination of Lester M. Crawford to the FDA was put on hold indefinitely April 6, reported the Washington Post.
Sen. Patty Murray announced the hold after she, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sen. Edward M. Kennedy had a 30-minute meeting with Crawford.
The meeting ended without a resolution, Murray said. The senators said they plan to block the vote until the FDA acts.
The FDA approved Plan B in 1999 as a prescription drug. But the drug’s manufacturer, Barr Laboratories, applied to the FDA in April 2003 and requested to sell Plan B as an over-the-counter drug.
The FDA ultimately rejected the application in May 2004, but it was supposed to render a decision on a revised application in January. A concern, expressed by the FDA and numerous pro-life groups, was the lack of research done on the effects of this drug on teenage girls.
Murray reportedly said the FDA appears to be making a "political and ideological decision" regarding Plan B, and that "there is no scientific reason for this approval to not go forward." She said the FDA's credibility as a science-based agency "is on the line."