Plan B pill denied over the counter status


The Plan B pill displayed on a pharmacy shelf. Recently, the Health and Human Services secretary scrapped the FDA's plan to make the morning after pill available over the counter.


Joe Raedle

It looks like women who are seeking the Plan B pill will still have to make their way to the pharmacy's window at their local drug store.

According to The Associated Press, Health and Human Services secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, rejected plans from The Food and Drug Administration to make the emergency contraceptive available over the counter.

The AP reported that she was, "Concerned that very young girls couldn't properly understand how to use it without guidance from an adult." 

On the other hand, FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg said in a statement that she believes "there is adequate and well-supported data that shows Plan B One-Step is safe and effective for nonprescription use for all females of childbearing years," reported ABC News.

Although some doctors worried that easy access to the Plan B pill would mean less teens engaging in safe sex, other doctors disagreed with the HHS rejection. 

Dr. Paula Hillard, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Stanford University School of Medicine, told ABC News: "The original FDA Advisory committee that recommended approval for Plan B was virtually unanimous in its recommendation, and didn't find reason to draw a line at 18 or 17 or any age."

Prompted in February by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., the maker of Plan B One-Step, the proposal was to sell the pill on shelves that also featured condoms and spermacide.

Currently, only people who can provide proof that they are 17 or older are able to purchase the pill without a prescription.

If taken within 72 hours of having unprotected sex, the pill can prevent pregnancy.

Read more form GlobalPost: U.S. health plans required to provide free birth control