Connect the Dots
Some time ago, former FDA Commissioner Mark McClellan says in a deposition that he gave Jay Lefkowitz, a Bush domestic policy adviser, "occasional updates" on the Plan B application.
On July 21, 2006, as part of its lawsuit against the FDA, the Center for Reproductive Rights requests a subpoena for any e-mails, letters and records of conversations exchanged by the White House and the FDA to determine whether the administration weighed in with "instructions or directions" to regulators on how to proceed with a drug maker's request to allow over-the-counter sales of the pills.
On July 31, 2006, the FDA announces it will meet with Barr Labs to discuss the possible approval of nonprescription sales of the Plan B "morning-after" contraceptive to women 18 and older (with an agency official hinting at availability within weeks):
An FDA proposal would allow women 18 and older to buy Plan B without a prescription, but the product would be kept behind pharmacy counters and women would have to ask a pharmacist for it, an FDA official said.
Younger women still would need a prescription for Plan B....
Tomorrow, August 1, 2006, [a]cting FDA Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach is scheduled to appear before a Senate committee considering his nomination to become the agency's permanent chief. Two senators have promised to block a vote on von Eschenbach's nomination unless the agency decides whether to approve over-the-counter sales of Plan B.
Ahh, the smell of playing politics with women's lives in the morning!