Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

April-12-04

Experts Speak Out Against FDA Delay on Emergency Contraception

Several members of the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) expert advisory committees are speaking out against the agency’s delay of its decision to make the emergency contraceptive Plan B available without a prescription. Two doctors on the advisory committee and Jeffrey M. Drazen, MD, the editor of New England Journal of Medicine, published an opinion piece in this week’s issue of the journal charging that the postponement of the FDA’s decision on making EC available over-the-counter “suggests that the FDA's decision-making process is being influenced by political considerations.”

The doctors further argue that “treatment for any other condition, from hangnail to headache to heart disease, with a similar record of safety and efficacy would be approved quickly. Why has the FDA adopted its own plan B with respect to approval for over-the-counter use, instead of going ahead with the recommended approval?”

An overwhelming 23 out of the 27 FDA Reproductive Health Drugs and Nonprescription Advisory Committee members agreed that Emergency Contraception is safe, effective and meets all the requirements for over-the-counter status. Despite the recommendations of these expert medical committees made in December 2003, the FDA announced that it would delay its Feb. 20 decision on the status of the emergency contraceptive Plan B by 90 days.

Meanwhile, Barr Laboratories, the distributor of Plan B, and the FDA have been working on a compromise that would greatly restrict the accessibility of EC. According to the Washington Post, the compromise could include setting a minimum age to buy Plan B and keeping the drug behind-the-counter so that pharmacists can control sales.

Emergency contraception is safe, and most effective if taken within 24 hours after unprotected intercourse, contraceptive failure, or rape. “To deny women unrestricted over-the-counter access is simply unacceptable from a feminist and public health standpoint. Responsible women seeking to avoid an unintended pregnancy must be able to access this drug quickly. Access delayed is access denied,” said Feminist Majority Foundation Medical Director Beth Jordan, MD

LEARN MORE about the Feminist Majority Foundation’s campaign to expand access to emergency contraception on college campuses

DONATE to support FMF’s work to win over-the-counter status for emergency contraception

Media Resources: New England Journal of Medicine 4/8/04; Washington Post 4/8/04; Feminist Majority Foundation.


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

9/30/2014 US Supreme Court Shuts Down First Week of Early Voting in Ohio - Less than 24 hours before the start of Ohio's would-be voting period, the Supreme Court blocked efforts to restore a full seven days of early voting in the state, marking a win for the Republican-controlled legislature that enacted the new voting restrictions. The Supreme Court's order offered no opinion or explanation, but Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Stephen Breyer would have ruled differently. . . .
 
9/30/2014 Georgetown Alumni Call Out University for Not Allowing Reproductive Rights Protests - Over 200 Georgetown University alumni have sent a letter to university President John J. . . .
 
9/29/2014 Hope for Afghan Women as New President is Sworn In - Ashraf Ghani, who has publicly and consistently stated his support for women's rights and women's participation in government, was sworn in as the new President of Afghanistan today at the Presidential Palace in Kabul. Over 1000 national and international guests attended the ceremony, including high-ranking officials from the United Nations and 34 countries and a delegation from the United States. . . .