In an unexpected decision July 31st, the FDA revived a long-stalled application to allow over-the-counter sales of Plan B, also known as the morning-after pill.
The FDA told the drug maker, Barr Pharmaceuticals Inc., that it wanted to meet within a week to discuss how to allow adults to freely buy the drug, reported the Associated Press.
The contraceptive would be available without a prescription for people 18 and over, although the drug would still be kept behind pharmacy counters. A prescription would be required for people under 18.
“Making this powerful, abortifacient drug available without a doctor’s oversight could place women and their newly-conceived children at risk,” said Deirdre McQuade of the USCCB.
Plan B is a large dose of prescription hormonal birth-control pills, which is taken within 72 hours of intercourse. It works both before and after conception.
“Over-the-counter availability would allow these drugs to be used routinely, despite the fact that they are not approved for such use,” McQuade said. She said studies show many women do not understand that the pills should not be used routinely and many are also unaware of their abortifacient characteristics.
“Women for whom the drug is dangerous would not have the benefit of any clinical advice to alert them to the risks,” she warned. Furthermore, repeated use of emergency contraception “wreaks havoc on a woman’s cycle.”
A decision to make the drug available over the counter would also place pressure on pharmacists who “conscientiously object to dispensing drugs that can kill humans at their earliest stages of development,” McQuade stated.
.- A pro-life spokeswoman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops reacted strongly against the Food and Drug Administration’s decision to move toward approving abortion drug Plan B for over-the-counter use.