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

9/22/2014 Under the Affordable Care Act, More Women Then Ever Have Free Access to Contraception - Two-thirds of American woman now have access to free birth control, thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Guttmacher Institute released a study Thursday showing steep increases in the number of women who were able to take full advantage of the ACA birth control benefit. . . .
 
9/22/2014 Climate Change Activists Take Over Manhattan to Demand Action - An estimated 400,000 people took to the streets of Manhattan over the weekend to demand world leaders take action on climate change. The People's Climate March, which some are calling the single largest call for climate action ever, took place ahead of Tuesday's emergency UN Climate Summit. Joining the march were several labor unions, former Vice President Al Gore, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, and celebrities Leonardo DiCaprio and Edward Norton. . . .
 
9/22/2014 New President and National Unity Government Announced in Afghanistan - The Afghan Independent Election Commission (IEC) announced yesterday that the Afghan people have elected Dr. . . .