Here in the U.S., 15-year old girls are now able to buy the morning after pill. The FDA approved the availability of the Plan B contraception pill without a prescription.
Soon you’ll be able to buy one type of ‘morning after’ pill over the counter and off the shelf, as long as you’re 15 or older.
That move from the FDA on Tuesday, it applies to the Plan B One-Step pill. At the moment it’s available to those ages 17 and older, and kept behind the pharmacy counters.
Customers will need to present proof of age in order to buy it. The move comes in the middle of a legal and political fight over morning after pills.
Two years ago, the Food and Drug Administration wanted to make it available to all women, regardless of age. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius overruled her own agency’s recommendation, and instituted the 17-year-old minimum age requirement.
Last month, a federal judge in Brooklyn ordered the FDA to make the morning after pill available to all women. The FDA says this latest decision was not brought on because of the judge’s ruling and is unrelated.
The FDA decision applies specifically to the Plan B One Step, and does not apply to the two other emergency contraception drugs manufactured in the U.S.
Plan B, the two-dose regimen, is available over-the-counter for women 17 and older and Ella is available only by prescription for all ages.
The FDA approved Plan B in 1999; it goes for about $50.
- Story by Ed Payne, May 1, 2013