FDA rethinks its delays on sale of morning-after pill

Decision may be in a matter of weeks
After a three-year fight, the Bush administration signaled that it may be ready to reverse course and approve over-the-counter sales of an emergency contraceptive pill despite strong opposition from the religious right.

The Food and Drug Administration notified Barr Pharmaceuticals that it wanted a meeting early this month to discuss the “rigorous” steps the company would have to take to sell its morning-after pill without a prescription.

Barr has been seeking approval to sell its Plan B contraceptive to those 16 and older but has faced vocal opposition from antiabortion groups and conservative lawmakers and repeated roadblocks from the FDA.

Now the agency says a final decision could be reached “in a matter of weeks” if Barr meets conditions necessary to ensure that the pill does not fall into the hands of “young girls who can’t safely use it” without the supervision of a doctor. The FDA insists on a minimum age of 18.


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