Despite a recommendation by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to relax the restrictions placed on the morning-after plan B pill for younger teenagers the Obama administration on Wednesday announced that they would reject the request.
While younger users can still receive a prescription for the morning-after pill they must first be willing to have their parents agree to a doctor’s appointment.
The FDA believes that it is the first time that the Department of Health and Human Services have overruled the agency’s recommendation.
Speaking about the Obama administrations decision FDA Administrator Margaret A. Hamburg noted:
“There is adequate and reasonable, well-supported, and science-based evidence that Plan B One-Step is safe and effective and should be approved for nonprescription use for all females of child-bearing potential.”
“However, this morning I received a memorandum from the Secretary of Health and Human Services invoking her authority under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to execute its provisions and stating that she does not agree with the Agency’s decision.”
Responding to Hamburg’s statement Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said that her own agency found that submitted data wasn’t enough to “conclusively establish” that the Plan B drug was safe for use in younger girls.
“About ten percent of girls are physically capable of bearing children by 11.1 years of age. It is common knowledge that there are significant cognitive and behavioral differences between older adolescent girls and the youngest girls of reproductive age,” Sebelius said.
Girls 16 and younger will for the short term at least still require a doctors prescription to obtain it. Women 17 and older must show a valid ID to receive the drug, a move that privacy groups says exposes their identity for a drug they should just as easily be able to pick up over-the-counter.
Do you think the morning-after Plan B drug should be made available as an over-the-counter drug?