FDA Approval of Over-the-Counter Emergency Contraception Uncertain
Barr Laboratories, distributors of the emergency contraceptive Plan B, are reportedly concerned that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will not approve their proposal to make the drug available without a prescription. Carole Ben-Maimon, president of Barr Laboratories' research division, told the Washington Post that she thinks “an approval is not a likely scenario." An overwhelming majority of expert FDA advisory panel members agreed in a December meeting that emergency contraception (EC) is safe, effective and meets all the requirements for over-the-counter status.
The medical community and women’s rights and health advocates accuse the FDA of succumbing to a vocal minority of right-wing political pressure and disregarding science in their decision to postpone the final ruling until May 21. In a statement issued yesterday, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health urged that “politics should not trump medical evidence for making Plan B available over-the-counter.”
Feminist Majority Foundation Medical Director Beth Jordan, MD concurred: “This decision should be made on scientific merit, not politics. The safety and efficacy of EC has never been in question and to deny women unrestricted over-the-counter access is simply unacceptable from a public health standpoint.”
EC is up to 95 percent effective in preventing pregnancy if taken within 24 hours after unprotected sex, failed contraception, or rape. It is safer than aspirin, meets all of the FDA's requirements for over the counter status, and has the potential to prevent 800,000 abortions in the United States annually.
“The voices of a vocal majority make an enormous difference,” says Dr. Jordan. “Join the majority of Americans who support over-the-counter access to EC and immediately urge the FDA to follow the advice of its own expert advisory panel, stop playing politics with women’s lives, and make emergency contraception available over the counter.”
2/27/2015 This Bipartisan Bill Will Hold Colleges Accountable for Ending Campus Sexual Assault - A bipartisan bill aimed at holding colleges and universities accountable for rape and sexual assault cases was introduced in Congress yesterday, spearheaded by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).
Some of the Campus Accountability and Safety Act's key key provisions include a requirement of confidential reporting systems on colleges and universities, minimum training requirements for campus personnel, and stricter penalties for schools found to be in violation of Title IX or the Clery Act. . . .
2/26/2015 If This Bill Passes Federal Law Will Add Consent to Sex Ed Curriculums - Right now, federal law does not require health or sex education to include sexual assault prevention - but that could change with a new bill introduced by Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Tim Kaine (D-VA).
The Teach Safe Relationships Act of 2015, which was introduced earlier this month, would require all public secondary schools in the country to include teaching "safe relationship behavior" in order to help prevent domestic violence and sexual assault. . . .