Conservative groups like the Concerned Women for America oppose the sale of the Plan B birth control pill or the ‘morning after pill’ without a prescription. Their objections rest on grounds that it is unsafe for young women to take high doses of birth control hormones without supervision.
Their views have been expressed in an eloquent report. But what the report fails to mention is that external advisory panels and scientists of the Food and Drug Administration have recommended that the FDA approve over-the-counter sales. This view has been endorsed by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Despite the recommendations, as on June 2004, the FDA has given approval for Plan B to be sold only on prescription. Their concerns lie in the lack of adequate knowledge of the likely consequences of the pill on the sexual activity of teenagers and young women. The then acting director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research overruled his staff’s recommendation for over-the-counter sales. The reasoning behind the objection finds no favor with senior scientists of the FDA. They protested the issue that Plan B appeared to have been evaluated with a different set of standards to that applied to other contraceptives.
But a Government Accountability Office report accuses the FDA regulators of compromising their customary decision making based on scientific principles when they submitted their recommendation for sales of Plan B without prescription.
To counteract what it considered a federal roadblock, the ACOOG (American College of Osteopathic Obstetricians and Gynecologists) directive was to advise female patients to get a prescription well in time so that the pill is readily available when needed.
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