After nearly a year in limbo, the FDA suddenly has the morning after pill on the fast track to approval. It's also called plan B, referring to a pill that can prevent pregnancy if taken within seventy-two hours of unprotected sex.
It's only sold by prescription. But now, the FDA wants it to be sold over the counter to women over age eighteen. Since seventy-two hours might not be long enough for some women to get to a doctor for that prescription. So, after a year of debate, what's the rush now?
Acting FDA commissioner Andrew Von Eschenbach faces senate confirmation tomorrow. Two senators have vowed to oppose him because no action has been taken on plan B.
"In my mind, that's saying no without saying no, and that's not the right answer given all the data and all the evidence," said Susan Wood, former FDA assistant Commissioner for Women's Health.
If approved, plan B would be stored behind the pharmacists' counter. But some argue there's no way to police the user. Because any adult could buy it and give it to a child. Senators Hillary Clinton and Patty Murray said they'll continue to oppose the confirmation until there's a final decision on plan B which the FDA expects will happen within weeks.