Thursday, November 03, 2005

FDA Still Silent on Morning-After Pill

You don't say!

WASHINGTON - The morning-after contraception pill known as Plan B reached a regulatory milepost Tuesday with still no word from the Food and Drug Administration whether it will be sold without a prescription.

Tuesday marked the end of 60 days of public comment sought by the agency after it delayed a final decision whether to approve over-the-counter sales despite substantial agreement among agency scientists that the pill was safe and effective. An FDA spokeswoman said that as of Monday, the agency had received 2,268 comments, but she said they had not been analyzed yet.

"We will review the public comments as soon as practicable and, taking those comments into account, decide how to proceed," spokeswoman Julie Zawisza said in an e-mail.

Well, if we're practicing medicine by popular vote, clearly the "pros" have it:

Clinton and Sen. Patty Murray (news, bio, voting record), D-Washington, on Tuesday submitted a petition to the FDA's acting chief, Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach, calling the agency's inaction "virtually unprecedented." It was signed by more than 9,800 supporters.

And while we're on the subject of Plan B, let's dispel one more myth. The emergency contraception pill is not the "morning-after-pill". It's postcoital birth control. It is best to take it as soon as possible after the act of unprotected intercourse, but the window is up to 120 hrs. "Morning-after-pill" is a misnomer. Let's all stop using it.


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